The former Hot & Spicy came face-to-face for a second and time in wXw as the Shotgun Live Tour headed towards it’s conclusion!

This was one of the wXw Feature Events that we didn’t cover last year, so here’s a perfect “fill in the blanks”! With Jeremy Graves on the call, we’re straight into the action in front of the Hamburg Power Crowd, with a match that continued a feud that had been rumbling for a while…

Alpha Lovers (Melanie Gray & Alpha Kevin) vs. Marius van Beethoven & Alpha Female
Before the bell there was the instruction that this wasn’t an intergender match, so we’ll have men on men and women on women in this match. Marius wasn’t in a rush to face his former Reich und Schön partner, so we start with Alpha and Mella before a forced tag from Marius led to him getting beaten on… and running for his life!

Marius headed into the crowd and cut a promo, which led to everyone giving chase into the locker room, with the four fighting past a bunch of wrestlers who were nonplussed by it all, before they re-emerged into the entrance stage. I guess this became a streetfight, as Kevin throws Marius off the stage and onto Alpha Female. Back in the ring, Gray unloaded on Alpha until she missed a back senton, and that’s where things turned around as Alpha just clubbed Melanie to death. Almost. Some back-and-forth took Alpha Female into an Anaconda Vice, forcing an eventual rope break and prompting more pain for Mella. Yeah, Alpha Female is really nonchalant when it comes to killing people!

A tornado DDT from Gray counters out of a slam, and brings us back to Marius and Kevin. Alpha Kevin’s having it all his own way, at least until Marius raked the eyes to escape an Alpha Slam. Some Eat Defeat from Marius gets a near-fall as he’d swung the match back his way, and save for a brief flurry, van Beethoven was keeping Kevin down with relative ease.

Kevin mounts a comeback with some Dusty punches, before a right hand laid down Marius. Alpha Female tries to get involved, but it leads to stereo Dusty punches from Kevin and Mella as the Alpha Lovers took control, with Mella holding open the ropes for a tope from Kevin!

Just as Gray looked to have had it won, Marius slipped into the ring and punched out Melanie behind the ref’s back, and with Kevin distracted, Marius chops out the leg and applies a leg grapevine to force Kevin to submit. Marius and Alpha get the win in this battle, but Melanie instantly chased them away… there’d be a lot more to come! **¾

Karsten Beck came out after the match, and booked a singles match between Marius and Kevin for the 16th Anniversary show a week later in Oberhausen.

Chris Brookes vs. Dave Crist
These two were around the Shotgun title picture in wXw at the time, and we start fairly tentatively as Crist hit and ran… before Brookes did the same thing after getting kicked.

After the early shots, the pair trade wristlocks, with Crist coming out on top, flipping out of Brookes before taking him down with a dropkick and a crossbody for a near-fall. An attempted slingshot into the ring’s quickly cut-off with a dropkick from Brookes, as Crist was dumped to the outside. Back inside, Brookes looked to take over, but barely gets the one-count from a knee drop, and so pulls up Crist into a camel clutch for a wet willie. Gotta love how the ref Rainer Ringer cringed in disgust at that…

That finger in the ear enraged Crist back into action, kicking the face off of Brookes before hitting a Meteora double knee drop off the top. A version of Sister Abigail planted Brookes for a near-fall, before Crist saved a springboard missile dropkick, only to land into a big boot, allowing Brookes to follow in with a Whiplash for another near-fall. From there, a Michinoku Driver’s enough to get Brookes the win, as he would go on to win the Shotgun title the very next night. Pretty decent stuff, but at this stage in the game neither were taken too seriously as a threat in Hamburg. Either that, or everyone was just waiting for the main event… ***

wXw Shotgun Championship: Chris Colen vs. David Starr (c) vs. Emil Sitoci
Colen was a part of a group called the WOW Movement – a faction that never really took on in hindsight. He was up against David Starr, who’d beaten Tyler Bate for the belt two weeks earlier as wXw embarked on a period of frequent title changes. They were interrupted before the match by Emil Sitoci, who took it upon himself to insert himself in the match.

We start with some three-way spots as everyone seemed to get in each other’s way before Starr and Sitoci were sent to the outside. Starr returned first against Colen as we entered some indy’riffic pins that eventually led to a square-off… as Emil Sitoci applauded sarcastically from the apron. Then got punched off it.

A vicious back elbow from Colen knocked Starr down hard, but Sitoci low-bridges the Austrian as he tried to steal a win, before sending the champion chest-first into the turnbuckles. Hey, it’s not just the pink trunks that are a tribute to Bret Hart! Sitoci’s missed springboard moonsault gave Starr a way back into it, but a gutbuster quickly snuffed that out as Emil went to cut-off Colen before rolling up Starr for a near-fall.

Eventually Starr worked back and took Sitoci into the corner for a Violence party, helped by a returning Colen who threw in some clotheslines and forearms for a near-fall as Starr laid winded in the corner. Starr and Colen trade forearms until Sitoci flew back in with a crossbody, but they get rid of Sitoci pretty quickly… leading us to a uranage from Colen! Sitoci tries to steal the pin, but Starr gets out just in time!

Colen tries to get back into it, but Sitoci just kicked the rope into his groin, before turning around into a series of kicks from Starr who followed up with a modified Sharpshooter – almost the old Edgucator move that Edge used for a while – for the instant submission! I enjoyed this, if only for the story of the cocky heel trying to jump the queue and lose out in the end. ***½

After the match, Colen offered a handshake, but Starr kicked it away and went in for a hug instead.

Ilja Dragunov vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger
Cerberus was down to just Julian Nero and Adam Polak with Ilja tonight, as we had an intriguing match that less than a year later would end up being for the wXw title!

Bad Bones charges at Ilja at the bell as he took the fight to the hard-headed Russian, who in the prior weeks had been rejecting Bones’ offers of help to free himself of Cerberus. Hard chops lit up Ilja, who managed to duck a decapitation superkick and roll-up Bones before dumping him on his head with a Saito suplex.

Ilja returns the favour with chops before Adam Polak waded in to try and interfere… but Ilja stops him and ordered him out, just in time for Bones to hit Ilja with a spinebuster for a near-fall. Despite Ilja perhaps showing some signs of a good side, Bones kept up on him, only to fall into a pumphandle pump as the tide turned back-and-forth, with a slingshot spear nearly doing it for Bones.

A crucifix bomb attempt gets countered by Ilja, who keeps hitting hard, before an attempted suplex is reversed, leading to Bones awkwardly dumping Ilja onto the apron. They seem to have a death wish as they try that in every match… and this time it seemed to affect Bones’ knee as he favoured it straight away.

Some clotheslines from Ilja put Bones in trouble, as does a back senton off the middle rope, just as Adam Polak again tried to get involved. Bones counters a Saito suplex and dumps Ilja into the corner with a buckle bomb as they resorted to just slapping each other silly. More head dropping follows as Ilka looked to be edging ahead, but Bones punched him down as both men crumpled to the floor!

Bones recovers first and takes Ilja down with a back superplex, before a Decapitation kick left Ilja down and out, and despite kicking out, Ilja’s instantly caught in a crossface until Adam Polak hit the ring and broke it up for the obvious DQ. Ilja broke it up immediately, and so continues the gradual turn away from Cerberus as Ilja wanted to be able to fight for himself! This was a pretty good outing between Bones and Ilja, who love to hit each other hard – which is their forte. ***½

Rosemary vs. Toni Storm
Both women had gold with them, with Rosemary being the TNA Knockout’s champion at the time, whilst Toni had the Stardom World Association title around her waist.

After being licked early, Storm tore into Rosemary with some shoulders… but Rosemary rose from the dead and took her into the corner for some clubbing blows. The match quickly spilled to the outside as Storm met Rosemary with a baseball slide dropkick, before the tide turned as Storm got whipped into the ringpost. Back inside, Rosemary pounds Storm on the mat, before pulling her into a rope-hung headscissors as the Impact star was comfortably in control. A Muta lock almost forces a submission, but a huge clash of heads from Toni swiftly moved things around for a moment, at least until Rosemary hit a Red Wedding (F5) for the win.

Yeah, that looked a little weird – the bell rang, but it looked like Storm got her shoulder up very late. Either way, this was a solid enough match considering that at the time wXw didn’t have much of a women’s division. **¾

WALTER & Jurn Simmons vs. A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius al-Ani)
So despite losing at the World Tag Team League in October, A4 won the tag titles several weeks later after wXw opted to strip JML – David Starr and Shane Strickland – of the belts. Those belts weren’t on the line as they faced a super-team of past and present wXw champions.

WALTER was in the phase of establishing the RINGKAMPF creed before his matches, including the whole grouping of wrestlers into three buckets. He’s interrupted by his own partner here, as Jurn just wants to wrestle. Imagine that!

In the early stages, WALTER kept things simple, barging Marius down with shoulder tackles, before a tag saw Absolute Andy do the same. That led to some disagreement between Jurn and WALTER as they argued over who should be in the match… an argument Jurn won by blind-tagging himself in. The arrogance continued as Jurn faked out a tag to WALTER, who was pretty happy to watch Jurn get taken down by Andy’s dropkick… especially since he was able to mount some offence when the tag finally came. The action’s fast and furious among all four big lads, with WALTER putting in the furious part as he laid into al-Ani with a series of chops in the corner.

Marius gets a clothesline in off the apron to drop WALTER as A4 tried to take over… but WALTER clotheslines away Marius’ leapfrog splash attempt before whipping Andy to the outside. The arguments between Jurn and WALTER continue, but the giant Austrian’s able to shrug it off and keep Marius down with a huge boot.

A brief comeback allows Marius to tag out to Andy, who took way too long with a suplex to WALTER, and had to make do with a spinebuster instead for a near-fall. WALTER instantly retaliated with a series of suplexes, but Andy manages to catch Jurn with a Sharpshooter as the tide ebbed again, this time with al-Ani cutting off WALTER before he can break it up. Instead… WALTER just powerbombed Marius onto his partner. Ouch.

From there, WALTER uncharacteristically went up top, where he was caught by Andy and brought down to earth with a top rope ‘rana, before a stalling suplex dumped “der Ringgeneral” ahead of an Absolute knee drop. Jurn finally takes that leapfrog splash in the ropes as A4 resurged, at least until WALTER brought down Marius with a butterfly superplex as he was waiting for a frog splash that never came. That left Marius between a rock and a hard place, as a powerbomb from WALTER proved to be a bridge too far, leading to the tag team champions picking up a tough loss. Fun stuff here, although I’d be curious to how/why the WALTER/Simmons pairing came to pass. Gotta love some big lads wrestling, and this was a really good slice of it. ***¾

Before the main event, we got a video package chronicling Hot & Spicy’s run – from their tag title win in 2013 in Hamburg, to their first match in 2016, and what looked to be Axel turning his back on Da Mack. Hot & Spicy went their separate ways – with Axel becoming part of RINGKAMPF, whilst Mack hung around with the WOW Movement (a group that didn’t seem to do much in wXw, aside from make folks like me wonder why not a single word appears to have been said about them!)

Before the main event, Christian Michael Jakobi headed out to address the crowd of 580 in Hamburg. We’re subtitle-free here, so a lot of this over my head,

Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Da Mack
I’m sure it’s no accident, but the pull-up banners on the stage in Hamburg had Mack and Junior on opposing sides. It’s always the small details that make things…

Mack and Dieter butted heads early as we had a very cagey opening spell, with Dieter wanting to get revenge on the loss that he suffered against Mack last time in Hamburg. There’s a lot of teasing and escapes as Mack kept fending away Axel with dropkicks, only for a swift European uppercut to put down the former Shotgun champion.

Dieter kept Mack on the mat with a hammerlock, before hitting a half-and-half suplex to take Mack back down after he’d fought back to his feet. Second time was lucky as Mack fired back in with a PK for a near-fall, before clocking him with an enziguiri to take Dieter into the corner. Just as everyone thought that kick had rocked him, Dieter fired back out with a cross chop to knock Mack off his feet. Dieter slowly wore down Mack with combination of face rakes and boots to the back, before thwarting a comeback by catching a springboarding Mack and turning it into the Hamburgerkreuz (Air Raid Crash).

Mack manages to get back into it with a comeback that culminated in a springboard enziguiri, but Junior kicks out at two and ends up eating a regular enziguiri and a huge knee for another near-fall. A top rope springboard ‘rana puts Axel on the apron, where he’s sent to the outside for a step-up flip dive that almost ended badly for Mack, but it put him back on top… until his attempt at some mounted punches in the corner were stopped.

Junior tries for a superplex to counter those, but that’s countered into a sunset bomb out of the corner as Mack almost made it 2-0 against his former partner! Mack tries to snatch the win with a Fujiwara armbar, but Dieter rolls free and trapped Mack in the Axel Dieter Special submission, which almost led to a loss as Mack rolled backwards in a pinning attempt. Regardless, Dieter fires back… and leaps into some Mack Magic as the cutter only gets yet another two-count!

After kicking out though, Dieter quickly goes back to the Axel Dieter Special, before pulling Mack down into a double armbar, forcing a stoppage after a series of kicks as the intensity was ramped up really quickly to force Tassilo Jung to call off the match. Whilst this match lacked the insane heat of their more famous Hamburg outing in 2013, this was a really good match that helped solidify Axel… which was needed given that he’d end up as the wXw Unified World Wrestling champion barely a week later! ***¾

All in all, this stop on the Shotgun Live Tour was a really solid card that was a good table setter for the following weekend’s 16th Anniversary show. The headline Mack/Dieter match was fun – but as typical with us, we’ve watched these out of order, but we’ll fill in the blanks, along with their outing in Preston a few weeks before this, as part of Preston City Wrestling’s weekender with wXw, CZW and Beyond.