With wXw’s FAN weekender a little over a week away, Absolute Andy crossed several lines in his bid to get under Ilja Dragunov’s skin.

We start with a recap from a few weeks back, where Marius al-Ani and Tarkan Aslan jumped Bobby Gunns before they run off by Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer. Cue credits, and we’ve got Alan Counihan back on the call this week as Prince Ahura’s match graphic seems to be a challenge of “how far can I lean back without falling?”

First, we’ve got a sit-down interview with Thommy Giesen, Marius al-Ani and Tarkan Aslan. Marius only has one statement: he’s not here to win a popularity contest, he’s around to be the best athlete in the game. Curiously, Marius takes a shot at Absolute Andy and the love some fans have for him and his “dad bod”, before saying that he’s better than all of us.

Speaking of Andy, he’s on the phone to someone outside the arena… he instantly gets a call from Christian Jakobi, but he refuses to pick it up, out of fear he’ll be getting another fine. T-shirt sales would cover it… We’re inside the arena now, and Francis Kaspin is looking for Christian Jakobi. He’s probably still trying to get through to his champion. From there, we recap Veit Müller challenging Doug Williams – that’s happening in Hamburg, but first Veit has a warm-up!

Prince Ahura vs. Veit Müller
Ahura’s been a little lost while his tag team partner Maggot’s been injured, but those losses have not been for the want of trying. He started by taking Müller into the corner before mocking Veit… which just fired up die Keiler. Uppercuts and headbutts rocked Ahura, as did a shot to the back of the head as Müller just tosses him with a gutwrench fallaway slam with the greatest of ease. Despite that, Ahura’s able to sneak in some offence, before a back body drop and a hiptoss put Müller ahead, as did a trip as he tried to roll Ahura into a single leg crab.

After getting free, Ahura traps Müller in the corner with a boot, then some knees, before some missed kicks just crotched Ahura on the ropes, allowing Veit to hit a nice old school shoulderbreaker before a cravat throw across the ring proved to be enough for the win. A nice competitive squash, something wXw excels at – even if you’re not featured on the cards, you’re rarely used as cannon fodder. ***¼

Backstage, as Christian Jakobi asks the same question many people on the London Underground did this summer, Francis Kaspin finds him in his office. Kaspin’s annoyed that he’s not had the debrief that wXw stars usually have after they’ve been abroad.. Jakobi feels that he’s not appreciated enough, especially when Kaspin pulls the “you need us more than we need you” line. I sense doom for Jay-FK.

There’s a Monster Consulting video package here as they recap their history training together, Nero debuting against Avalanche, and of course, Cerberus. Nero says that the pair balance each other out, making themselves the perfect tandem – but while Cerberus was a group, Monster Consulting is a team thing, and they have a plan to win World Tag Team League.

We recap Jurn Simmons nearly beheading Koray a few weeks back… then David Starr’s comments as they build up to the Last Man Standing match at FAN. Jurn’s got his retort next, saying he plans to move beyond his former Massive Product team mate, and carve his own future. Jurn vows to cut through Emil Sitoci and leave people feeling sorry for him, before dismissing David Starr out of hand.

Absolute Andy and Marius al-Ani bump into each other, but the cameraman’s taken away by Francis Kaspin, who claims a conspiracy as Jay-FK remain deluded. They feel they didn’t lose the titles or the table match, and demand Christian Jakobi make the rematch. Luckily, Monster Consulting were within earshot, and they’re feeling charitable: in Hamburg, they’ll gladly throw Jay-FK around.

Tarkan Aslan & Marius al-Ani vs. RISE (Pete Bouncer & Ivan Kiev)
Main event time now, and it’s the first chance that RISE has to get revenge on Tarkan Aslan. We start out hot as Tarkan Aslan tries to run away from Pete Bouncer’s abs… and that Benny Hill moment allowed al-Ani to catch Bouncer with a baseball slide, before Ivan Kiev leaps over the ropes into the pile! Kiev throws Marius back inside, but he’s quickly caught and stomped on as the former and current Shotgun champions remained fairly even.

In tags Bouncer as he wallops al-Ani with a forearm to the back, before RISE cornered Marius while exchanging frequent tags. A standing elbow drop from Bouncer barely gets a two-count, as did a sidewalk slam/axe kick combo as RISE looked comfortable… but Marius sneaks in a cheapshot to Bouncer, which has him distracting the referee out of anger, and that in turn allowed Marius and Tarkan to get back into it.

al-Ani lands a step-up elbow drop on Kiev, as Ivan’s left pretty isolated in there, helpless as Aslan drags his eye across the top rope before Marius returns to blast into Kiev with a diving uppercut to the back. It’s now the unofficial A3 team who are all over the match, but Tarkan’s taking too long to parade for the fans… although it doesn’t seem to matter as he still maintained control. The crowd get on Marius’ back with the slightly-tweaked nickname of “Mr Bullshit”, and that seemed to throw him off his game as Ivan Kiev nearly nicks the win with a schoolboy. A spinning heel kick puts al-Ani back in front, before Kiev finally gets in an enziguiri and makes the hot tag out to Pete Bouncer! He swats away al-Ani’s attempt at a springboard before hitting a rope-assisted neckbreaker… and Aslan’s brought in too as Bouncer looked to get himself some payback.

Some clotheslines take Tarkan down, as does a reverse DDT, but it’s al-Ani who’s the legal man, and he slips out of a full nelson bomb and into an ankle lock as Bouncer’s forced to roll free. We’re back to the full nelson from Bouncer as the ring fills… with Aslan’s interference backfiring as he takes a superkick… but in the meantime the Shotgun title comes into play, with Aslan using it on Bouncer before a brainbuster from al-Ani gets the win. A nice little tag match; one that felt like the first chapter than anything close to a definitive conclusion to the RISE story. ***

Post-match, Lucky Kid storm sin and takes down Tarkan Aslan, before he flips away from a German suplex from Marius as the Young Lion ran wild! Well, until Marius kicked his knee out, then held him down so Tarkan could use brass knuckles on his brother.

Alan runs through the FAN cards as we almost close out the show:

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)
wXw World Tag Team Championship: Jay-FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) (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
Lucky Kid & Bobby Gunns vs. Marius al-Ani & Tarkan Aslan
Kris Wolf vs. Killer Kelly vs. Melanie Gray vs. Millie McKenzie

We actually end though, with Absolute Andy and Juvenile X hazing Laurance Roman. Well, I say “haze”, but what I really mean is “assault” – they’ve taped his hands together and for some reason have painted the Absolute Andy t-shirt logo onto his chest with lipstick. To be fair, it’s not the first time he’s been painted up… eventually Ilja Dragunov appears to make the save. He vows to kill Andy… and next week he’ll have his chance as it’s Andy and Juvenile against Ilja and Laurance Roman. I think if Ilja does kill Andy, he might have other matters on his  hands that’d stop him from getting the title!

So, a quieter show than normal, but in terms of output, it’s business as usual for wXw. The new format of Shotgun is certainly giving wXw the chance to book across shows – as witnessed by the angle at the show and the character development that’s played out on Shotgun since before Andy won the belt. Next weekend sees wXw and PROGRESS combine for half a dozen shows (two in Hamburg, two in Oberhausen and two in Frankfurt; with Frankfurt being Shotgun TV tapings),  and with the cards announced thus far looking extremely stacked, it looks like the weekend bridging August and September is going to be a great time to be a wrestling fan in Germany!