This week on Shotgun, Tarkan Aslan explains his actions… and it’s RINGKAMPF vs. Monster Consulting!

After clips Shortcut to the Top, we crash into credits (with updated photos for guys who lost their titles at Shortcut), as Jeremy Graves runs down this week’s show.

Bobby Gunns is out first, with a mic in hand and a crowd happily chanting for him. It’s a live Smoking Break, as he tells us he’s going to wait to cash in his title shot… because he’s got to “take care of a kid” – the former Mr. No Bullshit, who pulled some BS… which prompted Marius to hit the ring and lay out Bobby with a short-arm clothesline. Tarkan Aslan’s here too, acting as Marius’ mouthpiece, saying that he and Marius “killed the killer” Gunns. Aslan claims that they killed Lucky Kid and RISE, with that latter comment drawing out Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer too. Of course, Aslan and al-Ani run as Bouncer asks: are you a lion, or a weasel? Oh man, I want to see Tarkan Aslan to have a weasel suit match now!

Absolute Andy’s next, ranting about Zack Sabre Jr… Andy calls himself the “God Emperor” of wrestling, before dragging in a ring crew guy called Baris who’s apparently bigger than Zack Sabre Jr. Andy dares him to grapple, but of course Andy schools him as this produces plenty of GIF material before Sebastian Hollmichel comes to make the save… and ends up nearly having his arm ripped off by Germany’s answer to Bob Backlund. During his crazy days.

We finally have the Ilja Dragunov interview next, after he didn’t answer the door last week. Dragunov doesn’t know what to do after such a setback… which he tries to rationalise as his own fault, rather than it being a victory for Andy. Ilja labels Andy as “old and smug”, and they throw in here that at FAN in Oberhausen, we’re getting a rematch… for the title, if Andy beats Zack Sabre Jr. in Hamburg, that is.

More Shortcut to the Top clips centring around David Starr and Jurn Simmons are next, and we’ve got David Starr in the interview area now. He’s annoyed that Jurn Simmons is also back… but he’s happy he can finally have his last man standing match after it got cancelled at 16 Carat Gold. That’s scheduled for FAN in Oberhausen!

Koray vs. Jurn Simmons
Jurn’s first singles match back from injury ought to be pretty straightforward, and we start with Jurn having to deal with Koray biting… but after he knees his way free, Koray’s just tossed across the ring.

The Berliner tries in vain to fight back as Jurn’s just clubbing him with ease, before a snapmare and a hard PK to the back left Koray down. After Koray rolls into the ropes, Jurn just smashes him down with a back elbow, before Koray locks in a rear naked choke that Jurn easily breaks up… Except charging Koray into the corner just left him in place for a Blockbuster that nearly gave us an upset, but Simmons is right back in and forces Koray to submit with the Rings of Saturn. This was fine, but was more of a squash than you’re used to seeing in wXw – very early 90s WWE! **

Post-match, Jurn goes under the ring and finds his Kendo stick “sword”… but Emil Sitoci makes the save as Koray was about to lose his head. Emil says that his stick’s bigger than Jurn’s (ahem!), and offers a more even match.

We don’t get a reaction though, as we see clips of WALTER killing Dirty Dragan at Shortcut to the Top, before we see a revived Dragan sweating his arse off next to Sebastian Hollmichel. They talk about their summer break, which for Dragan meant therapy. There’s something to this which makes you feel that maybe Dragan’s not been through it… even though he claims that he’s fine with who he is, faults and all.

More Shortcut clips to hype up Doug Williams and Veit Müller… and we’ve got those two backstage, with Veit asking for advice. Doug’s not too pleased with how Veit eliminated him, seeing it as disrespectful… but he comes around as Veit wants a match instead. We’re getting that at FAN in Hamburg, and I cannot wait! (for the VOD, that is… it’s the Hamburg show after that that I’ll be seeing live. Argh!)

Melanie Gray vs. Millie McKenzie
I wonder if Millie will have better luck this week? Well, she does manage to annoy Melanie from the off, before she goes for some German suplexes… instead opting to corner Gray for a monkey flip!

A diving dropkick puts Gray down for just a one-count, so Millie tries again for the German suplex, only to get tripped into the corner as the relative veteran put the boots to her. There’s a running knee to the corner before Millie starts to fight back… but she’s again cut-off as Gray starts to stretch her, before a huge chop to the back kept her down. It’s pretty one-sided stuff, with Gray landing a curb stomp for a near-fall, before lifting up Millie for a Finlay roll, before a back senton misses, allowing McKenzie to respond with an Ace crusher and the start of a series of German suplexes! Yep, Suplex Millie is in town… but so is Alpha Female, who has her own German suplexes, and this is waved off as a no-contest as she reigns supreme. Before the interference this was fine, but the match didn’t go anywhere… and now we know why!

Next, we’ve got the sit-down interview with Tarkan Aslan, who takes exception to Thommy’s demeanour. They talk about how he made an impact on his return as part of RISE, how RISE changed early on (with a curious mention of Bad Bones)… and then Aslan reminds us he’s already had one career-ending injury in the past, when a broken back looked to put him on the shelf. The injuries at the Käfigschlacht come up, and how Aslan felt scared at how he was no longer in control of himself. So he came up with a plan… and waited… and waited… and when the time was right, he struck.

Tarkan calls Marius “a present”, but he refuses to say much more without him, and so the interview’s brought to a premature end.

Jeremy runs through the announced cards for FAN:

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)
Millie McKenzie & Kris Wolf vs. Killer Storm (Toni Storm & Killer Kelly)
Sexy Starr (David Starr & Jack Sexsmith) vs. RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher)
Doug Williams vs. Veit Müller

Oberhausen – September 1
Ilja Dragunov vs. Absolute Andy (for the title if Andy is still champion after Hamburg)
Doug Williams vs. Fred Yehi
wXw Women’s Championship: Alpha Female vs. Toni Storm (c)
Last Man Standing: Jurn Simmons vs. David Starr
Kris Wolf vs. Killer Kelly vs. Melanie Gray vs. Millie McKenzie

Those are two loaded cards, and there’s more to come!

Alpha Female’s backstage for an interview… she vows to keep dominating the women’s division like she has the last few weeks. That then segues to Melanie Gray and Millie McKenzie backstage… and with Melanie recounting her history with Alpha Female, she begrudgingly forms a pact with Millie to try and overcome Alpha Female.

RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero)
This is non-title, but we’re interrupted before the bell by Jay-FK, or as Jeremy called them “these two cretins.” Clearly those tables weren’t enough to put them away for good… Francis Kaspin called this a “warm-up match” rather than a main event… so Jay Skillet offers to join in, so we’ve now got a three-way instead.

RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) vs. Jay-FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet)
Monster Consulting try and away Kaspin and Skillet before the bell, but it calms down as the two big lads charge at each other, with the former AUTsiders throwing chops and shoulder blocks at each other.

WALTER knocks down Avalanche with a big boot, and in comes Thatcher to try and roll Avalanche into a single leg crab, before he grappled him into a pinning predicament as Thatcher was doing a good job of wearing down the big guy. RINGKAMPF maintain control, as WALTER and Thatcher exchange tags and keep Avalanche on the mat, well away from any tag.

An attempted cross armbar from Thatcher has to be aborted, before he tries to haul Avalanche into a bow-and arrow hold… which he gets thanks to the help of WALTER. That can’t have done Timmy’s knees any good! WALTER’s in to trap Avalanche in a Gojira clutch, but Francis Kaspin sneaks in a blind tag and picks his spot… unfortunately he was onto a bad thing either way as Jay-FK found themselves in deep trouble, getting caught in duelling Gojiras before they tried their own thing. And found that RINGKAMPF squashed them against each other. Better luck next time, lads!

The champions gradually take over, this time with Julian Nero cornering Thatcher for some body blows, then the mounted punches… just the five of them! An Angle slam’s next as Thatcher’s taken down… and kept down too as the champions double-teamed the American, leading to a diving splash from Avalanche, before a blind tag from Skillet saw him stomp Avalanche in a bid to steal the pin.

Skillet keeps putting the boots to Thatcher, but an uppercut stops all that… so he scurries out and tags in Nero, who tries his best to blast through Thatcher with elbows, only for Timmy to hit back with some shots of his own. Nero manages to lift up Thatcher for Wasteland, but Thatcher slips out and gets an enziguiri, before bringing WALTER back into play… and it’s fair to say that a peed off WALTER is something to be reckoned with! There’s yet another blind tag as Skillet tagged WALTER, and yet again Jay-FK’s sneaky style gets them into play. Nero gets a tag and comes out on the losing end of a forearm battle with Kaspin, who keeps him on the mat with a chinlock before there’s a spot of mudhole stomping in the corner. Skillet keeps Nero in the Jay-FK corner, taking him down for a two-count as the wannabe tag champions continued to pepper Nero with shots.

A reversed Irish whip sends Nero into his own corner… but Avalanche doesn’t instantly tag him in, instead waiting for a missile dropkick to put Jay-FK down before making that scorching hot tag. There’s slams and battering rams among the upstarts, before Skillet’s flattened with a big splash… and Avalanche clears RINGKAMPF off the apron as he prepared for a Boulder Dash that would have won the match, had Timothy Thatcher not come in.

There’s a Parade of Kicks as the ring fills, and we somehow lead to WALTER taking the Final Consultation… before he popped up to send Nero into the corner with a shotgun dropkick! The Parade of Moves continues as Thatcher uppercuts Skillet during a WALTER powerbomb as Tassilo Jung lost all order of this match.

Kaspin nearly steals it, but he finds himself cornered against RINGKAMPF, before he takes a WALTER chop and the uppercut/powerbomb… with Thatcher nonchalant-as-hell uppercut proving to be decisive as RINGKAMPF took the win. This three-way tag had its moments, and the fact that they teased, then switched RINGKAMPF vs. Monster Consulting perhaps tells me that match is being saved for down the road. ***¾

Is anyone near Oberhausen in October? I have a feeling…

We’re taken outside as Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer haven’t heard from Lucky Kid… but they do get interrupted by Tarkan Aslan and Marius al-Ani. It quickly breaks down into a pull-apart, so it’s just as well that Christian Jakobi and crew were there to tear them apart… which leads to the announcement of next week’s main event: RISE vs. Marius and Tarkan!

Compared to last week, Shotgun was a much different show – there was a lot more focus on building for FAN, rather than giving us the fall-out from Shortcut to the Top. At an hour long, there was a LOT packed into this week’s show, but they managed to do it without feeling like there was too much going on. Shotgun yet again shows that it is possible to tell stories for the here and now, while laying seeds for the future: whether those are to grow into something real, or whether they just exist to throw us off the scene remains to be seen. Sure, at an hour it’s longer than usual, but block the time out and enjoy one of the better 60 minutes of wrestling TV out there.