This week on Shotgun, the entire cards for World Tag Team League weekend are released as the autumn festival inches closer!

Before the credits, we open with Lucky Kid calling out Tarkan Aslan last week, only to get sucker punched by his brother… and we’re back to Frankfurt with Alan Counihan on commentary.

But first, an interview with Lucky Kid. He tells us he’s learned the hard way what kind of person Tarkan Aslan is… but the bigger shock was that he never expected that from his brother. Thommy Giesen tries to ask Lucky about his “match” with Tarkan Aslan last week – the one that never happened – and it leads to Lucky threatening to send his brother “back to insignificance” at World Tag Team League. Giesen also asks Lucky if he’s taking on too much, having a Shotgun title contender’s match on Friday, a potential title shot on Saturday, then his match with Aslan on Sunday… but that’s handwaved.

Fred Yehi’s next with Thommy Giesen. The Savageweight tells us it’s all about action, not thoughts or talk… before he’s interrupted by Tarkan Aslan at the end. He’s dragged away, hopefully not to get a black square put on him. Luckily, after an advert, we’re outside as Fred’s still conscious, but he needs to relieve himself. Except that’s a ruse, as Yehi was just bored of Tarkan’s war stories…

Jurn Simmons vs. Veit Müller
This could well be Jurn’s final Shotgun match with hair – if things go badly wrong for him at World Tag Team League, that is. During the introductions, Jurn’s removing a turnbuckle pad, and it’s not noticed by Tassilo Jung, who’s usually so hot with those things.

Müller shoves Jurn at the bell, before the pair charged into each other with shoulder tackles. Jurn edged ahead, and clubbed Müller with a forearm, before he tries to throw him into that exposed turnbuckle… but Veit puts a block on, only to get met with a lariat instead. He recovers with uppercuts and axehandle smashes as Jurn’s on the defensive, getting thrown across the ring with a gutwrench suplex before a belly-to-belly and an armbar forces Jurn into the ropes. Simmons retaliates with a splash into the corner, before dumping Müller across the ring with a suplex throw. A back body drop from Müller surprises Simmons, who’s then caught in a cravat… but Jurn escapes and charges through Veit with a cross-chop for another near-fall. There’s more clubbering from Jurn, which had the crowd backing Veit… who responds with a clothesline and a cross-chop of his own for a two-count, before an old-school shoulder breaker dropped Simmons for a near-fall.

A Massive boot from Jurn puts the brakes on Müller, who manages to kick out at two, so Jurn heads up top and gets crotched by Müller. An attempted superplex is next, but Jurn slips out and then trips Müller, causing him to hit the exposed turnbuckle before a piledriver ends the fight in Veit. This was a little old-school on paper, but it read a whole lot better than execution – a hair too slow for my tastes. **½

Alan reads through the card for Femmes Fatales on Saturday October 6 – before night two of the World Tag Team League. Melanie Gray defends her wXw women’s title against Martina, while we have these tournament first round matches announced:

Toni Storm vs. LuFisto
Audrey Bride vs. Millie McKenzie
Kris Wolf vs. Killer Kelly
Meiko Satomura vs. Wesna

More recaps, and we’re backstage as Ilja Dragunov is with Monster Consulting again. He’s grateful for their help last week, as it was just like the old times. Julian Nero wants to ground everyone, reminding them that the next few weeks is about them all winning gold… but Ilja’s still hanging on what happened at FAN. He thinks he can’t beat Andy… but Ilja knows he has to focus on getting over that hurdle.

Except Bobby Gunns interrupts to mock Dragunov’s inspirational Twitter posts… calling him a teenager, which is why he lost the belt. Gunns blows smoke in Ilja’s face, who needs Avalanche and Nero to hold him back. Ilja’s told to “take five”, but he just wanders into an off-camera attack by Absolute Andy, as he’s left in a heap on the floor.

Alan’s back to rattle through the rest of the World Tag Team League line-up. Our preview of the weekender will be dropping next week – giving you plenty of time to digest the card and decide if you want to make the last-minute trip to Oberhausen (and perhaps even Essen, if you’re quick enough) for the shows, but for now…

Warm-Up Match: RISE (Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer) vs. Coast 2 Coast (Shaheem Ali & Leo St. Giovanni)
Hair vs. Hair: David Starr vs. Jurn Simmons
Shotgun Championship Number One Contender’s Match: Julian Pace vs. Fred Yehi vs. Emil Sitoci vs. Lucky Kid
Meiko Satomura vs. Toni Storm
Group A: Okami vs. Lucha Bros
Group B: Jay-FK vs. Monster Consulting
Group B: Aussie Open vs. Team SPLX

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Bobby Gunns vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Absolute Andy (c)
wXw Shotgun Championship: Marius al-Ani (c) vs. winner-of-four-way
Wesna vs. Toni Storm
Group A: Lucha Bros vs. RINGKAMPF
Group A: CCK vs. Okami
Group B: Monster Consulting vs. Aussie Open
Group B: Team SPLX vs. Jay-FK

Lucky Kid vs. Tarkan Aslan
Wesna vs. LuFisto
Group A: CCK vs. Lucha Bros
Group A: RINGKAMPF vs. Okami
Group B: Aussie Open vs. Jay-FK
Group B: Monster Consulting vs. Team SPLX
World Tag Team League Final

The Smoking Break is next, with Bobby Gunns saying he’s glad to put the Shotgun title behind him as he wants no part of a brotherly feud… and Marius al-Ani is beneath him. Bobby buries Ilja and Andy, saying that it’s time for Andy to go extinct so he can leave Oberhausen with the Unified World Wrestling Championship.

Julian Pace is next up for a rare interview! He’s in that Shotgun title contender’s match on the Friday… Pace tells us he used the summer break to increase his fitness, doing the Deck of Cards workout every day. He too, is interrupted by Tarkan Aslan, who seems to want a favour off of anyone wrestling Lucky Kid these days. Pace tells Tarkan he’d rather lose than listen to him… so Tarkan slaps him.

RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) vs. Lucky Kid & Fred Yehi
Main event time now, and we’ve got a random warm-up for RINGKAMPF ahead of World Tag Team League.

Yehi and Thatcher start us off, with a little throwback to the EVOLVE of yore, scrambling on the mat for a body part. A trip puts Yehi ahead, but Thatcher manages to grab an arm, only for Yehi to scramble out and into a leg grapevine as he tries unsuccessfully for a bow-and-arrow hold before the pair squared off. Tags out bring in Lucky Kid and WALTER… and strangely, Lucky is relishing that.

Lucky dances around WALTER, then takes him into the corner for an Okada-like pat on the chest. WALTER wasn’t quite so charitable, forcing Lucky to dive away to save his skin, as the Austrian instead followed up with a knuckle lock, taking Lucky to his knees. A wristlock gets reversed as Lucky flips in the ropes, before a bit of classic British wrestling led to… Lucky hugging WALTER’s leg. WALTER resists Lucky’s leg-spreader, and instead sits down with an Earthquake-like splash that Timothy Thatcher approved of, before a single chop fells Lucky with ease. Thatcher tags in and quickly wrenches away on Lucky Kid, grabbing a half crab only to be forced to turn it into a leg grapevine as Lucky was in trouble.

Another tag brings in WALTER, who goes into the corner and chokes Lucky across the turnbuckle… and even falling to the floor doesn’t save Lucky as the RISE member was instantly rolled back into the ring. A Boston crab followed from WALTER, although Lucky is able to get to the rope before his brief fightback ended… with a chop. It’s all disconcertingly one-sided for Lucky, but he’s able to make the tag out as Fred Yehi came in to clear house, chopping away at Thatcher before grabbing a cravat.

WALTER breaks it up, but he gets a cravat and some knees too, before Thatcher’s thrown around with some German suplexes. Despite taking a powerbomb, Yehi’s back with an enziguiri before he tagged out to Lucky Kid… who wasn’t quite as rested as he’d want to have been. A firm slap from Thatcher sent the RISE member loopy, but he was able to rebound with some low dropkicks before he… BLAAAH!

WALTER isn’t a fan of BLAAAH, and he comes in to try and German suplex Lucky… who replies with a satellite DDT before Yehi comes back in. The pair chop WALTER ahead of some bicycle kicks from the bottom from Yehi, as the double-teaming continues, ending with a handspring elbow-assisted German suplex that almost puts away Thatcher. There’s a response by Thatcher, who turns a backslide into a Fujiwara armbar… and Yehi has no support as Lucky Kid’s caught in a Gojira clutch, meaning that Yehi has to meekly tap as RINGKAMPF took home the win. Tim had to have that confirmed, as slight the tapping was… as it brought a really fun main event to an end. More of this please at Tag League! ***½

That’s all for Shotgun this week – a show that kept the wheels turning going into World Tag Team League, without hammering anything home too much. Even if you’ve read this or seen the match card listings online, Shotgun is worth your time this week – as it is every week – if only to get you in the mood for next month’s festival of the tag team graps!