Oh hey there Shotgun… just dropping in a casual match between Pete Dunne and WALTER, I see. That alone should make you watch this week!

Yikes, it’s a JUMBO Shotgun too, weighing in at over an hour long. We’re still from Cologne, but first, Absolute Andy is in the garden getting a tan. He’s doing the obnoxious thing of blocking seats for no reason, as Juvenile X wants to prove himself to him. Andy doesn’t want anything to do with him, so he goes back to sunbathing… hope he gets an awkward watch tan from that!

Alan Counihan’s on commentary, as he runs through the card for this week’s show, before Ilja Dragunov heads to the ring… He’s here because he’s looking for someone, but can’t find him. Andy! Eventually, Andy heads out with his darts trophy (and presumably a little sunburn), before he again takes shots at Ilja, saying that he was “donated” the title at 16 Carat Gold. Andy mocks Ilja’s promo, then tells him to go home and be a family man (in other words), “because you’re better suited for (that) than here.” Harsh words, but Ilja agrees: he is a family man, and he fights for his family, including the fans… but Andy tries to make sure he can’t have any more family by kicking Ilja low, then in the head… before Ilja finally fights back with some clotheslines and dropkicks to send Andy packing… complete with a tope to send him on his way!

Except Andy’s not done, as he’s back with an F5 and some charges as he took Ilja into the ring post… while everyone else backstage just watched. You need new security, Christian! Apparently Ilja’s meant to be wrestling this week in the opener, but that’s off as Andy stood tall, before he made a beeline for the airport… but not before telling “buddy” to collect his challenge. A good opening segment, and it’s worth noting that Alan came out of his “bubble” here as his commentary was mixed around the promos rather than the usual wrap-arounds we’re used to.

So yeah, we’ve got a match here as Juvenile X tries to come out and pick apart the pieces…

Ilja Dragunov vs. Juvenile X
Well, this probably didn’t go to plan for Juvenile, who started by putting some boots to Dragunov, but he’s quickly forced to withstand some chops… before a cobra clutch restrained Ilja briefly once more.

Some diving uppercuts target the champion’s back, as Ilja tried to make the most of his limited chances to fight back, but Juvenile was all over Dragunov, almost taking the win with a backbreaker. The crowd’s almost in a stunned silence while they got behind Dragunov as Juvenile continued his assault… as any newcomer could well have thought that it was Ilja who’s the newcomer here.

A backdrop suplex gets another near-fall for Juvenile, but he goes right back to the rear naked choke and a scoop slam… and that fires up Dragunov! Chops and a big back body drop sent Juvenile to the mat, as the Dragunov comeback continues in earnest, with kicks sending him into the corner ahead of some huge lariats. A third lariat’s ducked as Juvenile comes back in with a forearm, only to run into some more clotheslines as Dragunov suddenly had his foe’s number.

The back senton off the top squashes Juvenile, and from there it’s the small matter of Torpedo Moscau as Dragunov took home the win. This felt a little weird, and may have been better off as a wXw-special “competitive squash” as a lot of the crowd didn’t seem to buy Juvenile at all here… but in the end it got both men over, with Ilja taking the win as you’d have expected. ***

Shortcut to the Top is this Saturday!

We’re back in the arena as Thommy Giesen introduces the latest face of the wXw women’s division… Millie McKenzie! She had originally been meant to wrestle Killer Kelly on these tapings, but flight issues put paid to that. Thommy welcomes Millie, then asks her to introduce herself… she’s asked about her last match for wXw, in London against Killer Kelly, before she’s interrupted by the returning Alpha Female! Alpha jumps Millie and lays her out with a Dominator, before walking to the back…

We’re reminded of Monster Consulting’s challenge for a three-way tables match at Shortcut to the Top… but as a warm-up, we’ve a three-way!

Jay Skillet vs. Pete Bouncer vs. Avalanche
Skillet refuses to start the match in the ring, instead demanding Bouncer and Avalanche go at it… instead he’s brought into the ring the hard way as everyone took their turns to stomp on him in the corner.

Eventually it got a little too competitive as Avalanche and Bouncer turned their sights on each other, which allowed Skillet to get back into it. Well, until he tried a dropkick on Avalanche, but he just bounces off the Austrian. HAH. A Beele throw traps Skillet in the corner, but he avoids a cannonball as the revolving door effect comes into play… but Bouncer literally bounces from a suplex as Avalanche reigned supreme. Technically, Shortcut is a taping…

Anyway, Jay Skillet makes a comeback, dropping Bouncer with a ‘cutter for a near-fall as he throws a tantrum… there’s a nice “accidental” spot as Skillet dropkicked Avalanche, which in turn gave Bouncer a Samoan drop… but Avalanche is back with a Dreissker Bomb to Skillet in the corner, only for Bouncer to come right back in and throw the Austrian out to steal the pin. Rather brief, but this was a really good taste for Saturday’s tables match. ***

Post-match, Avalanche grabs a table from under the ring… and despite having just seen Pete Bouncer steal his pin, he gets Pete on-side as they looked to wipe out Jay Skillet. Francis Kaspin’s not in town, but RISE and Monster Consulting can’t get along, so Jay ends up press slamming Julian Nero through the table before he runs off.

Coming to wXw NOW in August… their 2008 catalogue of events, featuring an appearance from Kenny Omega. Next: Thommy Giesen’s asking Jay Skillet about Francis Kaspin – who’s still in the States. Jay’s finally on social media, well, Instagram, and he’s asked about the tables match. He found it ironic that Julian Nero went through the table just now… and he feels that Jay FK will get their belts back at the weekend. For real.

A replay from last week follows, of Ivan Kiev finding Pete Bouncer laid out during the main event… which bleeds into the finish from last week, where Marius al-Ani won his Shotgun title shot. Lucky and Marius are backstage next, with Lucky having no hard feelings after what happened… but at least Marius is going to give him a title shot if/when he wins.

Lucky’s a little mad about what happened with Tarkan Aslan… Marius can relate given what happened with him and Andy, and he’s planting seeds in Lucky’s head. Pete Bouncer and Ivan Kiev arrive and want a word with their RISE team-mate… Lucky tries to rationalise what happened, and almost blames Bouncer for what happened. Lucky sides with family, rather than RISE… and so we wait.

Hey, it’s the first Smoking Break of the new season! Bobby Gunns mocks Marius al-Ani as only he can, vowing to tap out Marius with a hammerlock because muscles don’t matter – all that matters is that Bobby will still be posing with his belt after the match.

Next week on Shotgun: Millie McKenzie faces the returning Alpha Female, in her first match back in over a year!

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: Marius al-Ani vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
Elimination Tables Match for wXw Tag Team Championship: Jay FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. RISE (Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) (c)
Dirty Dragan vs. Mystery Opponent
Tarkan Aslan has an announcement about his career…
Shortcut to the Top: we’ve a new graphic, featuring Veit Müller, Ivan Kiev, Pete Bouncer, Lucky Kid, WALTER, Julian Pace, Dirty Dragan, Marius al-Ani, Emil Sitoci, Young Money Chong, Mike Schwarz, Juvenile X, Julian Nero, Avalanche, Francis Kaspin, Jay Skillet, Michael Dante, Timo Theiss, Laurance Roman, Koray and… THE ROTATION! Oh, and two other faces I can’t identify. Sorry guys.

WALTER vs. Pete Dunne
It’s main event time – and the match that I almost bought a flight and ticket to go and see live…

Yes, I’m here for Pete Dunne’s old ATTACK entrance video, complete with… is that Sebastian Radclaw in the background of the video?

Pete Dunne instantly goes to the ropes as Alan was losing his mind on commentary just for the opening bell, as WALTER showed Dunne how easily he could lift him, despite the Bruiserweight kicking him in the leg. The crowd was remarkably split between the two, as Dunne tried to grab WALTER’s leg to avoid a single leg crab… and it worked as he quickly escaped the hold before reverting to a stick-and-move tactic.

WALTER’s got to go to the ropes as Dunne went for a submission, but they’re still looking to make the first major blow… with WALTER grabbing a front facelock only to get taken into the ropes pretty quickly. A surfboard from Dunne is easily powered out of, and Peter’s scurrying into the corner. The Austrian’s quickly on top of Dunne with some ground-based grappling… and this crowd’s going absolutely ballistic with duelling chants as they go through the basics.

Dunne throws a chop… and that hushes the crowd as they realise Peter’s messed up, but WALTER shrugs it off before he drove his foot through Dunne’s chest and throat. Ow. Uppercuts keep him on the mat, before WALTER trapped the WWE UK champ between the ropes to show the crowd some crossface blows… until Dunne catches the arm and snaps the arm.

Ah, nevermind, WALTER’s still got his feet, and he quickly throws one through Dunne’s face as the match heads outside. A backdrop suplex dumps Dunne on the apron, before Peter got back to his feet and clattered into WALTER with some PKs as the match slowly turned in the Bruiserweight’s favour. Some wrist manipulation makes WALTER scream as he was dragged into the ropes, only to get caught with some more kicks as Dunne was firmly on top.

Problem was, he was taunting WALTER with some boots, and he quickly gets made to pay with a MASSIVE shotgun dropkick. One worthy of this show’s name!

WALTER keeps up the fire with a German suplex and a folding powerbomb, before he rolled Dunne into a Boston crab. Another powerbomb’s countered into a DDT as Dunne busts out some Sliced Bread and a double stomp as somehow Dunne was able to shrug off that massive John Woo. Tassilo Jung has to restrain Dunne, but it just ends up with Dunne getting caught in a Gojira clutch… which he bites his way out of, only to get murdered with a lariat.

Again, Tassilo gets involved, but he ends up being an accidental step for Dunne to use as he goes for a triangle choke, then a guillotine on the big Austrian, who escapes with a suplex. The pair start to niggle at each other, with Dunne stamping on WALTER’s hand, which theoretically stops the chops… but it doesn’t stop the forearms, as Dunne asks for more, before throwing a chop of his own. Good God, WALTER throws a chop and nearly wins the match with it!


WALTER can’t quite follow-up, despite booting Dunne’s head, as another chop’s caught and turned into a finger snap. The Bitter End’s attempted but easily tossed out of as WALTER tries for a Gojira clutch… but Dunne backflips over and pins the big guy. This was an absolute war – a banner match for Shotgun, and an outing I really, really want to see again. For those who don’t like the “shticky” matches that Dunne and the WWE signees have become prone to, well, sit back and enjoy this. An instant classic. ****¼

After the match, Dunne offered a handshake to WALTER… and gets it, but he jumps der Ringgeneral again and stomps him into the corner. Cue the save from… ILJA DRAGUNOV?! Those two are building to a huge match for PROGRESS at Wembley, and they unload on each other, with Dragunov stomping down the Bruiserweight before TKO, Juvenile X and an unidentified Koray turn the tables. Dunne’s back in with a forearm as he heads off with his belt, allowing everyone else to keep stomping down on Ilja… until WALTER looked to make a save as Ilja and WALTER finally cleared house, tossing Juvenile, Koray and TKO over the top to send us into Shortcut to the Top with a good old-fashioned staredown!

After what’s felt like ages since the last major wXw event, Shortcut to the Top is this Saturday… and will drop on wXw NOW next Tuesday night. We’ll have our review as soon as we can after then. A second week in, and the new look Shotgun certainly feels fresher, with things like commentary no longer being “just” a wrapper to segments… long may this new format continue!

If you’re reading this and haven’t seen the main event yet… stop. Go to www.wXwNOW.de and sign up for it, just to see that match. It’s worth every penny of your subscription fee.