We’re going back to wXw Now for look at the latest episode of the promotion’s Shotgun Plus TV show.

Rico Bushido’s hosting again, and we start with a preview of this month’s Back To The Roots show in Oberhausen – where Jurn Simmons gets a shot at the wXw Unified World Wrestling championship against Axel Dieter Jr. (no rematch since Jurn lost to Marty Scurll, who lost to Axel…). There’s also “die Käfigschlacht” – a cage match to you and me – as Chris Colen, Bad Bones and Ilja Dragunov take on Cerberus.

Elsewhere on the show, we’ve got David Starr defending the wXw Shotgun title against former champion Tyler Bate.

They recap the events that saw Axel Dieter Jr win the wXw title – and play up some dissension within Ringkampf as WALTER was unhappy at not getting that shot instead. We get a promo with WALTER in a car… and thankfully this has subtitles. WALTER is in the car with Christian Michael Jakobi, and he’s disappointed in Jakobi for not telling him ahead of time what was going on. Jakobi dismisses WALTER’s concerns because he lost to Marius Al-Ani earlier on the 16th anniversary show – and I guess Jakobi just wanted some gold.

WALTER is still annoyed that he didn’t get the chance despite being a three-time former champion. Jakobi’s reply: this isn’t Formula 1. There are no team orders – you do the job yourself. Which for WALTER means winning 16 Carat Gold and challenge Axel Dieter Jr for the title. Despite the language barrier, this was a pretty good promo in a rather unique setting.

A recap video from the 16th Anniversary show follows, plugging the event on the wXw Now service.

We go to the wXw dojo, where everyone’s doing jumping jacks. So many top-knots. Francis Kaspin is there, and the trainer, Jay Skillet, has some issue with him wearing a Ringkampf shirt. Kaspin sees no issue, as he reckons he shares Ringkampf’s beliefs… and this is our lead for our first match on the show, taped in Cologne on November 26:

Jaxon Stone vs. Francis Kaspin
We’ve got Irish Alan on commentary here, and he immediately busts out the “Lights, Camera, Jaxon” pun as Stone takes Kaspin into the corner from the opening lock-up. Stone’s apparently over in Germany doing some international dates, but he’s far from ingratiating himself to the German crowd.

Kaspin hits an armbar takedown, then worked into an arm wringer, only for Stone to slap his way free and return the favour. More wristlocks from Kaspin see him taken into the corner for an unclean break, before Kaspin makes a comeback with a diving forearm smash. A big boot takes Stone back down, but the Californian recovers to hotshot Kaspin on the top rope, before landing a clothesline to the back for a two-count.

Kaspin fires back with some more forearms, but a clothesline is ducked as Stone lands an implant DDT for a near-fall. Stone keeps on top of Kaspin with a knee drop, but he takes too long in following up, and he ends up running into a big boot in the corner.

Another comeback from Kaspin sees him land some flying forearms to take Stone down, before he lands an O’Connor roll for a near-fall, then a huge dropkick off the ropes for another two-count. Jaxon calls for a brainbuster that immediately had me wondering if he was moonlighting in OTT, but Kaspin slips out and gets a springboard bulldog for the win. Good stuff from Kaspin, and Stone didn’t look too bad in an alien setting for him either. **¾

We’re immediately taken backstage to Chris Colen and “Bad Bones” John Klinger. They’re talking, when all of a sudden someone knocks on the door, and they find Francis Kaspin on the floor, mouth taped up and wearing a Cerberus shirt. Apparently he swapped his Ringkampf shirt for a Cerberus one, and was attacked from behind in the seconds between his match and this happening. Yes, I know it’s all pre-taped!

Colen blames Cerberus, based solely on the t-shirt, but Bad Bones is taking it personally now Cerberus are going after his friends. On January 14, at Back To The Roots, Klinger’s going to dig up something from the past that’ll destroy the group.

The ever-excitable Rico Bushido reminds us that Colen and Klinger’s partner in the cage match will be Ilja Dragunov – and that leads to another backstage promo, with Thommy Giesen and Dragunov. Thankfully they have subtitles as Ilja spricht Deutsch for the first time. Ilja tells us he’s a disciplined, world-class athlete, before recounting all of the gold he’s held and lost, all because of distraction. Dragunov says he’s now invincible, and he’ll expose Adam Polak’s true face. I’m really liking this deranged Dragunov character.

We get some clips of cage matches from wXw’s history, before we’re told that we’re going to get wXw’s first-ever “ladies cage match” as Alpha Female takes on Melanie Gray.

Back to Rico, who plugs the current line-up of guest content on wXw Now from the Canadian promotion SMASH, along with some other additions to the German service, including a show where the Young Bucks actually faced each other. There’s then a plug for two new wXw shows; an interview series, and – My Workout… where we get to see how Timothy Thatcher trains. I’m actually somewhat interested by that last one…

Another backstage segment with Christian Jakobi follows now, as he’s tearing pages out of Power Wrestling magazine, before he’s interrupted by Karsten Beck. Apparently Jakobi tore out the pages relating to Ringkampf, but he’s explaining that away by saying he’s now getting a return on his investment for the last 15 years. Beck tells Jakobi that he too can create matches whenever, wherever, and as a result, Beck’s in charge of the 16 Carat Gold tournament.

Beck takes away WALTER’s spot in the tournament, and that leaves Jakobi speechless. Beck slates Jakobi for his nepotism, then says that A4 will fight each other at Back To The Roots for WALTER’s spot in the tournament. Interesting…

Over to Nico Schmidt in the wXw Event Centre, who confirms that 16 Carat Gold qualifier that Beck just set. Schmidt then recaps the previously-announced Simmons/Dieter Jr. title match, then the six-man cage match, and finally the women’s cage match.

From there, it’s back to Karsten Beck, who’s with Alpha Kevin. He apparently can’t compete at Back To The Roots because of Marius van Beethoven’s attack, but Kevin’s more worried that Melanie Gray’s having to wrestle in a cage. Beck reminds Kevin that size doesn’t always better, and recalls the time he beat Big Ryck (at wXw’s Slam Mania show in 2015), before offering to come up with a plan. Apparently if Melanie wins, Kevin gets five minutes in the cage with Marius van Beethoven… and all of a sudden Kevin isn’t as worried!

wXw Shotgun Championship: Tyler Bate vs. David Starr (c)
This was taped in the German city of Halle, and we start with a fan repeatedly asking Starr if he’s ready…

Starr grabs a wristlock as Alan runs down the list of challengers that Starr has faced for the Shotgun title since he took it to the US, and they go back and forth with the wristlock as the pair put on a display of chain wrestling. A headlock from Starr takes down Bate, but the youngster forces his way out, before scoring a single-leg takedown as the mat-based stuff continues.

“Schnurrbartmann” (Moustache Man) Bate swaps a long series of waistlocks with Starr, before cartwheeling away and finally lands a dropkick that takes Starr to his knees. Starr hits an unusual backwards roll into the ring as he launches Bate to the floor courtesy of a springboard lariat, then gets a near-fall from a headlock takedown.

Bate fires back with some forearms, but Starr quickly cuts him off with a belly-to-belly suplex for just a count of one, as does a diving crossbody into the corner. A surfboard stretch keeps Bate on the ground, but he soon fought out and dropped Starr with a Tiger suplex, before jabbing away at the champion.

Starr whips Bate into the corner, but Starr’s caught in a headscissors takedown, before Bate follows him outside for a leaping knee off the apron. Another knee dropped off the middle rope gets Bate a two-count, before the pair went back to switching waistlocks as Starr was trying for his package German suplex. In the end, Bate lands his deadlift German suplex for another near-fall, before laying into Starr with some more forearms in the corner.

Bate’s charge gets cut-off with a chop, before Tyler rolls through a crossbody attempt and lifts Starr up for an airplane spin. Holy hell, that’s an impressive feat of strength. Starr’s popped up from the airplane spin for a European uppercut for a near-fall, but he comes back with a trio of topes after throwing Bate outside.

Despite taking the dives, Bate tries to keep hold of Starr as they crawl onto the apron, into a battle of chops outside the ring, as Starr then tries for an apron suplex. Bate elbows out of a fireman’s carry, but runs in and gets dropped with a DDT through the ropes and onto that apron from Starr, who then gets a near-fall with a crucifix pin. More forearms as both men fight to their feet… so they trade big boots instead. Bate gets the better of it, before a third big boot is caught and met with a big knee from Starr, but Bate rolls in with a Koppo kick… only for a lariat and a tiltawhirl slam to nearly get the win for Starr.

A suplex-onto-the-knee gets Starr another two-count, before he goes for the strait-jacket German suplex that he calls Product Placement, and that’s enough for the win. A thrilling bout, but as soon as you saw the date, you kinda guessed the result… ***¾

We immediately go backstage where Axel Dieter Jr is coming out of a locker room with a suit on a hanger. Jurn Simmons runs in and attacks Dieter, throwing in some swearing that New Japan tag team matches would be proud of. Dieter’s thrown into a sofa, then into the wall, as the former champion vows to reclaim his title… and then we fade to black as Shotgun Plus comes to a close for another week!

Another good outing, and from the plugs given for the Back To The Roots card, there’s some very intriguing match-ups coming to Oberhausen next weekend!