After a monumental Shortcut to the Top, Shotgun’s back to bring everyone up to speed – and give us some words from Absolute Andy.

We’ve the usual spoiler warning… watch Shortcut to the Top first, or you’ll be spoiled… especially because we open with Tarkan Aslan’s “retirement” and subsequent shenanigans, complete with whatever he did to render Pete Bouncer unconscious. They then recap last week’s return of Alpha Female, Dominating Millie McKenzie… and then, the opening titles!

We’re back in Cologne, and it’s the first time we’ve heard Jeremy Graves in the new format… but first, a word from our new wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion. He wants Thommy Giesen to repeatedly introduce him as punishment for doubting him… Andy reckons he’s the “apex of virile evolution”… but he can’t get many more words out as we go to the split-screen as Ines is outside Ilja Dragunov’s locker room.

Ilja isn’t answering the door though, so it’s back to Annoyed Andy, as he reckons Ilja’s always one to no-show, claiming he’d rather be at home in the ring. The “Pope of Wrestling” demands Thommy kiss his hand, and we cut! We’re outside as Alpha Female’s arriving in the venue… as is Millie McKenzie, who looks like she’s stopping to do a wrestle before she goes backpacking.

They recap Marius al-Ani and Tarkan Aslan working together during the Shortcut to the Top match, and then it’s match time…

Emil Sitoci vs. Ivan Kiev
They’ve tweaked the graphics, so the name plates no longer cut-off…

Sitoci and Kiev have their own sections of fans, and they show them love before the two former Shotgun champions got us underway. It’s Sitoci who looked for the early advantage, but the pair struggled to get the upper hand as they flipped and leapt away from each other’s offence en route to a stalemate. Sitoci thought he’d gotten in front with a ‘rana, but he needed to hang Kiev’s arm on the rope to finally get his foothold into the match, as the Dutchman worked over Ivan’s arm on the mat. A crossbody from Sitoci breaks the flow as he resolutely hung onto Kiev’s arm, before Ivan finally hit back with a backbreaker and a straight kick to the back.

The pair exchange strikes, with Kiev edging ahead with a Stinger splash and a diving boot, before a surfboard stretch on the mat had Sitoci in some trouble. Out of nowhere though, Sitoci rebounds as he goes back to the arm, reaching for a Key lock only for Kiev to charge into the corner… a backbreaker of his own set Kiev up for a death valley bomb, but Sitoci escapes and lands a TKO instead as the rigours were starting to show on both men.

More kicks from Emil got him back into it as Kiev’s arm is beyond compromised – it’d be red and glowing if there were damage meters in this – but he’s still able to kick out. A death valley driver out of nowhere nearly sees Kiev snatch a victory… so he heads up top in a bid to go for his leg lariat, only for Sitoci to catch him and bring him down with a superplex instead, before he goes back to the arm, forcing a submission. A nice little back-and-forth contest here, with Sitoci showing some rarely-seen assets in his arsenal. Submission wrestling for the win! ***¼

Thommy Giesen’s backstage next with Alpha Female, who speaks of her annoyance at how a medical issue forced her onto the sidelines. She vows to take what belongs to her: she’s coming for Toni Storm’s title!

Recaps from the tables match at Shortcut to the Top follow, complete with huge crowd cheers! Next, we’re backstage with Monster Consulting, along with Avalanche’s sweet new jacket. Julian Nero has one big goal: to enter World Tag League and successfully defend their titles! Go get ‘em, boss!

More recaps from Shortcut to the Top, and it’s Timothy Thatcher’s return! RINGKAMPF are backstage in jubilant mood, and my God, Timothy’s smiling! WALTER’s happy because he’s got his friend back to support Schalke together, and it looks like Thatcher wants in on Tag League again… but first, he’s a pen to play with.

Millie McKenzie’s gotten rid of her backpack and she’s got a backstage promo. It’s the same as her in-ring bit from last week, minus the attack from Alpha Female. She vows to fight back against Alpha Female… which is just as well, because that’s our main event!

Millie McKenzie vs. Alpha Female
In wXw canon, Alpha Female made her in-ring return at Shortcut to the Top, but here she’s back on Shotgun for the first time since February last year, with a deathly skull mask!

The crowd were behind Millie McKenzie as she charged at Alpha at the bell… but she’s quickly shoved down. Wash, rinse, repeat! Millie tries early for a German suplex, but Alpha escapes and hits a shoulder tackle before she just clubbed away on the chest of McKenzie. An anaconda vice from Alpha forces Millie to crawl towards the ropes, but it just opens her up for more strikes as Alpha looks to end it early with a Dominator… but Millie escapes and hits a cutter! Out of nowhere!

It’s good for a near-fall, but Millie takes too long to capitalise and she ends up running into a big clothesline as Alpha Female resumed her dominance… at least until Millie hits a spear. For a one-count. That spear just angered Alpha, who throws Millie to the outside for some more clubbering, along with a trip into the ring post as she looked to take a count-out victory. Millie narrowly beats the ten-count, but it’s like she’s thrown herself back into a fire pit… even more so when she looks for a German suplex, which Alpha escaped before nonchalantly hitting a Dominator for the win. Massively one-sided, but Millie looked good when she had her chances… it’s not her time in wXw right now though, you sense. ***

Next up for wXw is their FAN weekend – this year their Fan Appreciation Nights are being held in Hamburg and Oberhausen, complete with some amazing graphics. Dennis (and anyone else involved), you’ve excelled yourselves! Some matches have been announced for the end of the month:

Hamburg – August 31
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Absolute Andy (c)
wXw Shotgun Championship: Bobby Gunns vs. Marius al-Ani (c)

Someone’s got a big unbeaten run in Hamburg to defend there…

Oberhausen – September 1
Doug Williams vs. Fred Yehi
wXw Women’s Championship: Alpha Female vs. Toni Storm (c)

These shows will also have PROGRESS events running alongside them, so if you’re going, make it a monster weekend!

Next up, the unedited version of what happened between Pete Bouncer and Tarkan Aslan a few weeks ago… they replay Pete Bouncer uncovering Tarkan Aslan’s faked injury, Aslan putting something on Bouncer’s neck and his collapse… and then the arrival of Marius al-Ani through the door at the back. Those two were in union all along!

We end with Lucky Kid, who’s looking solemn before Tarkan Aslan follows him into a bathroom and assaults him. Tarkan’s seen leaving before Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer appear to check on a beaten-up Lucky, who had to be helped up as the show comes to an end. What’s next with the remains of RISE… and what are the pairing of Aslan and al-Ani (A3?) up to?

After a packed Shortcut to the Top, Shotgun proved to be a useful 40-minute catch-up for those who perhaps haven’t had a chance to see it all – and to set the table once more for the next big wXw events at the end of the month. Bursting into life after a few months off, wXw has hit the ground running – and if even someone who’s overdosing on wrestling during the G1 is able to make time and enjoy this product, then you should be able to too!