Jurn Simmons vs. Jeff Jarrett – a match that’s gotten some stick, but does it deserve it? Let’s find out – it’s the second half of wXw’s Superstars of Wrestling 2016!
We’re calling this our “wXw week” as we’re out of the country. Not watching wrestling for a change! 2017 saw wXw keep down Superstars of Wrestling to one day, but these have been weekenders in the past as wXw played to the casual fans. 2014’s show was a one-day event featuring Chris Masters, whilst 2015 was a weekender with X-Pac, Matt Sydal and Yoshihiro Takayama (who teamed, with of all people, Chris Brookes). Given his unfortunate news, we probably ought to be revisiting that one too!
2016’s shows were a little Global Force heavy, given that wXw had a deal with GFW at the time; so we get Sonjay Dutt and Jeff Jarrett on this particular double-header, leading to a Jeff Jarrett title shot. We’ve heard about this show… We open with a video package announcing that Zack Sabre Jr’s returning to Oberhausen – where he won 16 Carat Gold earlier in the year – to take on Marty Scurll, along with several other matches for the card. There’s also going to be appearances from Road Warrior Animal, Nigel McGuinness and Gangrel, and we are underway… with Animal in the ring!
It’s a very odd layout compared to how I’ve seen the Turbinenhalle before. Nobody is around the ring, and everyone’s… sitting?!
In a cookie cutter promo, Animal’s happy to see tag team wrestling coming back, and he announces the tag title change from the prior night in Hamburg, as the Sumerian Death Squad dethroned Cerberus.
wXw World Tag Team Championship: Hot & Spicy (Da Mack & Axel Dieter Jr) vs. Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End & Michael Dante) (c)
Mack was the Shotgun champion at this point, so poor Axel was the only one without gold. Animal gives the tag titles to Tassilo Jung, then shakes hands and gets the hell out of there. End and Dieter, barely a year away from both of them being in NXT, start off with wristlocks as End kept Axel on the mat, before trying an alternative plan… of kicking Axel down.
A running uppercut gets Axel free as Mack tagged in against Michael Dante, but Dante quickly uses his side to flatten Mack with a uranage backbreaker out of a Slingblade attempt. Mack has worse luck against Tommy End, as he finds himself isolated against the much larger Dutchmen. It’s quite clinical stuff here from End and Dante, but Dieter’s able to make a blind tag in as Hot & Spicy gave themselves a chance.
Da Mack Moonwalked into a PK on End for a near-fall as Hot & Spicy looked to become three-time champions, but perhaps entering into a striking game wasn’t the best of ideas, as End looked to edge a head, only to fall to a headbutt as Dante was forced to make a save. A Slingblade nearly does it, but End manages to tag in Dante who clears house, dropping Mack with a backbreaker and a back senton for a near-fall.
A springboard enziguiri and a leg sweep led to a painful version of the Total Elimination for Dante, but Hot & Spicy’s double-team suplex doesn’t work out… instead, Axel shoves away a double stomp attempt from End and takes down Dante with a Blockbuster before the challengers went diving. Back inside, another headbutt from Axel left him and End down, before the champs get some crossed wires that nearly cost them. In the end, they shrug it off as End’s firecracker-like kicks led to nothing but a double-team DDT from Hot & Spicy.
An attempt at the Landungsbrücke back suplex gets clotheslined out of as Dieter was left on his own… and although he shrugged off a half-nelson suplex, he had no answer for the Dante spear as the SDS ensured they were more than just one-day champions! This was a hell of an enjoyable opener, with Mack and Dieter had their last crack at the gold, as they’d team together one more time before splitting. ***¾
Emil Sitoci vs. The Rotation
These two had quite a little feud going in, with Sitoci getting a surprise loss at the 15th Anniversary show. Sitoci got his win back at True Colors a few months later, and this is our rubber match…
Commentary tells us that Rotation is a luchador, and he’s doing a good job of keeping Sitoci on the outside with dropkicks and dives. When they got inside, it was a different story as Emil repeatedly cut-off whatever hope the German flyer had and knocked him down with gutwrenches and wicked boots.
Sitoci looked to be taking Rotation lightly, with lackadaisical pinning attempts and a clear wish to make him suffer, as Sitoci refused to go for a cover after a stalling suplex. It almost cost Emil as he misses a splash in the corner, then fell to a tiltawhirl DDT as the Rotation, well, rotated around the Dutchman.
The Rotation shoves away from a snapmare driver and worked his way up into an Electric Chair… which turned into a facebuster as Sitoci pushed on. In the end, Emil shoved Rotation off the top rope into a flapjack, before an elbow drop almost led to the shock as Rotation rolled him up for a near-fall. From there, another snapmare driver’s reversed as Rotation goes up top, only for his VOG – the 450 splash – to get nothing but knees. One wicked Snapmare Driver later, and Emil easily sealed the win. Enjoyable, one-sided stuff… as it ought to have been. **¾
After the match, Rotation offers a handshake to Sitoci – the very thing that started this whole feud… but instead, Emil slaps him down and chokes away on Rotation until Nigel McGuinness makes the save! Sitoci runs away, and eventually Nigel gives chase… screaming after Emil into the house mic. Unable to find Emil, McGuinness puts over Rotation… and that’s just about it for the Rotation, who’s barely been in wXw since!
Big Daddy Walter vs. Mike Schwarz
These two had had quite a feud going into this, going to double count-outs in brawls ahead of the Superstars of Wrestling special. Schwarz for all intents and purposes may as well be a German Sandman, drinking to the ring whilst carrying a Singapore cane, and they start off hitting each other HARD.
Schwarz ends up on some seats pounding Walter from above with some right hands, before posting the Austrian, who then ducked a cane shot and kept the match on the outside. When they made it to the ring, it was more of the same – forearms, boots and splashes – as Walter eased ahead.
Apparently this is falls count anywhere, as Tassilo Jung made a two-count after Schwarz was slammed on the concrete floor, before Walter just boots him some more in the ring. An escape from Schwarz just earns him a boot and a lariat, and finally Schwarz tries to fire back, throwing off a chop to put Walter down.
Unfortunately Schwarz tries to run before he can walk, and his chokeslam’s instantly countered into a butterfly suplex for a near-fall. Finally, Schwarz gets in something else – a Bossman Slam – for a two-count, then a fallway slam! A chokeslam nearly does it as Schwarz continued to chain together offence, but Walter dove to the outside as soon as he saw Schwarz with the Singapore cane.
Back inside, Schwarz press slams Walter off the top rope a la Ric Flair, sending the Austrian onto the stage for an eventual back body drop, that gets Mike a near-fall. Folding chairs come into play as Schwarz as Rico Bushido drops in with English commentary whilst six chairs are set up for a landing pad… but they’re not used as Walter powerbombs Schwarz on the mat before breaking up the Singapore cane. The crowd booed this as Walter went full RINGKAMPF, pulling Schwarz into a Bully choke for the submission. A few months later, Walter would stop being a large father and find the caps lock key as RINGKAMPF took over – but this was a fine prelude to the future of Walter. Good stuff and a step change, especially as Walter PUT HIS GODDAMN FOOT THROUGH A CHAIR afterwards. ***¼
Cerberus (Ilja Dragunov & Julian Nero) vs. Black Fire & Gangrel
One for the casuals here, as Cerberus looked to get back on form after losing the tag titles the previous night.
Black Fire and Ilja Dragunov get us going with some armdrags as the Gangrel-inspired smoke cleared from the venue. Speaking of, Gangrel came in for a spell, but was quickly cornered by the Cerberus pair. A slam into the ropes from Gangrel put Nero on the back foot, but when Black Fire came back in, things again tilted in Cerberus’ favour.
Nero and Dragunov had their shots against Fire, who slowly seemed to be made to work Cerberus’ match, which largely consisted of him being beaten down in the corner. Cerberus continue to taunt Gangrel into the ring, which works against him for most of the time… but finally Gangrel gets the hot tag in and causes Ilja to accidentally clothesline his own man!
A noggin knocker brings Cerberus together as Nero then gets slammed for a senton bomb from Black Fire… but Ilja breaks up the cover just in time! Things broke down for a spell as tags became a novelty item, leading to Gangrel being booted away from an Implant DDT. Nero sidesteps a dropkick from Fire, then plants him for a top rope back senton from Ilja as Cerberus find winning ways once again. This was alright, but it didn’t set my world on fire I’m afraid. Gangrel was barely involved, but what he did was serviceable at best. **½
After the match, Adam Polak gets the mic… and check out the hair on Dirty Dragan! Polak calls out Legion, which brought out Tommy End, Michael Dante and the third man… Mikey Whiplash! This quickly broke down into an all-out brawl, and it leads to a tag title rematch at Shortcut to the Top… under trios rules as all three members of Legion would defend the Sumerian Death Squad’s tag titles against Cerberus. Wait, Legion painted their faces for this, but not their opening match?
Sonjay Dutt vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger
Dutt was GFW’s NEX*GEN champion at the time of this… a title he held for almost a year before losing to Cody (Redacted), who then was quietly stripped of the belt last summer. It wasn’t exactly a prestigious belt in the scheme of things!
Bones was sporting new ring gear here – basically black jeans with his Bad Bones logo on the leg – and we started off very tentatively before Dutt burst into life with some ‘ranas and dives. On the outside though, Bones took over with a rougher style, whipping Dutt into the entry ramp… which he slid under before returning with a flip dive off of it. That’s being resourceful!
Back inside, Bones took charge with some shoulder blocks, before Dutt used his speed to edge ahead… and was rudely cut-off with a backbreaker onto the top turnbuckle! That almost led to a count-out, but Dutt made it back in… but struggled to get back into it as Bones wore him down with a rear chinlock. A sliding lariat nearly cost Bones as Dutt turned it into a crucifix for a surprise two-count!
Dutt resurges with a Yakuza kick to a cornered Bones, then a tornado DDT as a running shooting star press nearly gave the NEX*GEN champ the win… but Bones fought free and hit some forearms in the corner before a slingshot spear from the apron put him right back in it.
Sonjay superkicks his way out of a Razor’s Edge, but a scoop slam instantly put Dutt down, before the crossface nearly did the job. Dutt rolls out and eats a Decapitation superkick and a top rope elbow… but still he won’t stay down! Bones thought he’d go airborne, but Dutt catches a low-pe and turns things around, getting a near-fall out of a big splash off the top rope.
In the end though, Dutt’s flips cost him as a moonsault gets nothing but knees, allowing Bones to hit hard with a buckle bomb and the Wrecking Ball Knees for the win. This was pretty good – aside from the obvious clash of styles on show. I was surprised Dutt lost clean, but it was non-title, so it’s the best of both worlds I guess. ***
Marty Scurll vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
The winner of 2016’s 16 Carat Gold tournament, Zack Sabre Jr’s back in Oberhausen for a match against his sometimes-tag-partner Marty Scurll. It wouldn’t be the first, nor the last time these two’d face off… although I’m not entirely sure why these two would tag up here. Perhaps jealousy from Sabre winning the World Tag Team Tournament a few months earlier with Big Daddy Walter instead?
We start with a handshake, and if you’re worried about which side of the fence this was going to fall on… join the club. They went well under 20 minutes, with the opening series being Marty getting caught in legscissors, escaping and wandering back into another set before finally freeing himself.
It gets a little silly as the pair trade sunset flip roll-ups into the corners until they get annoyed with each other, so Zack takes it back to basics… and then back to the simple stuff that gets a reaction as they avoided double pins. It’s almost like they’re taking massive inspiration from World of Sport, which is where Allan Cheapshot would have thrown in a reference had he been writing this!
Marty pulled Zack into a chicken wing, but it’s long before that move was established so it doesn’t get a reaction. The pair ran into each other as they crumple to the mat, before Marty worked his way up into a Just Kidding superkick. The crowd liked that, but Zack quickly turned it around, locking in a guillotine choke as the back-and-forth begins to simmer with both men trying to finish things… and then Marty went for a finger snap.
Zack counters it, but Marty’s able to get the snap in, to the disgust of commentary, only for his attempt to snatch a chicken wing to end badly as Zack countered with a prawn hold – and the move some have christened the Euro Clutch has done the deed! The 16 Carat winner gets the W, ending a fun but at some times silly match. Still, I’d rather have this than some of the other outings they’ve had! ***¾
We get a video package ahead of the main event… this was before wXw started translating stuff, but we got from this that Jurn Simmons turned on Karsten Beck at Carat, effectively overthrowing him to crown himself der König der Catcher. Oh, and to become wXw champion. After outlasting Absolute Andy and Bad Bones in a 3-way at True Colors, Jeff Jarrett wanted a crack, which Jurn shot down beautifully: “he’s old, he’s weathered, and I’m in my prime… “
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Jeff Jarrett vs. Jurn Simmons (c)
My God, Jeff’s still using the My World entrance video from back in the day. He’s also got his Bullet Club gear, because… reasons.Jurn has cheerleaders, as he’s still to find THAT exquisite entrance that we know and love in 2017. Jeff falls asleep next to a fan in the front row, which is not too dissimilar a reaction to that some fans have with him, truth be told.
Jurn’s got Melanie Gray and Marius van Beethoven with him at ringside, which is a million miles away from what those three were doing even six months later. We’ve got a lot of time wasting before the bell, with Jeff Jarrett posing with the belt for… reasons… he’s given the standard wXw fine because he mocked the referee, and then he howled with laughter. I think someone may be a little jolly, shall we say?
The bell goes and more posing to the crowd. I mean. A LOT. Even Tassilo Jung seems fed up of it, shaking his head in the background, before watching as we get a move! It’s a hiptoss from Jurn, and then everyone mocks Jeff. Ha-ha. Ain’t it great?
Jeff replies (eventually) by bumping Marius and Melanie’s heads into each other to make them kiss, but Jurn takes over from there with shoulder blocks. Shoulder charges. All the shoulders. Melanie Gray interferes as Jurn has the ref tied up, and eventually it comes to nought as Jarrett gets off a side suplex.
Gray tries to coach Jurn into out-striking a punch-drunk Jarrett, and as much as I am not liking this style, the crowd is eating up this 80s-style comeback, so who am I to argue? Jurn goes for a piledriver, but Jeff escapes and hits the Stroke… which is the cue for some interference by pincer movement as Melanie distracts the ref whilst Marius ties up Jeff. Of course Jurn hits Marius, and the ensuing roll-up gets a near-fall AND sees Jurn crush Tassilo Jung from the kick-out.
The 80s motif continues as Jeff drags Melanie into the ring for some spanking, after he nearly fell down pulling her over. Marius tries to use the guitar on Jeff, but it’s stopped, and of course, he gets the guitar whacked over his head. What a satisfying bang! After all that, Jurn delivers the Massive Boot to Jeff, before one simple piledriver did the job. Hey, that’s one thing you can rely on Jeff on: selling old-school moves!
This match was so not to my tastes, with way too much stalling and interference… but it got a reaction from the crowd, and that’s all you can really ask for. Does it deserve the reputation it got? Not really… without saying outright, you could guess that other factors were at play here, but this was perhaps the best you were going to get in this scenario. *¾
I love the visual of after the match, Jurn being slumped in a throne with a cape and a crown, looking like he’d overindulged in chicken legs and all manner of unhealthy food… we’re left watching that for so long that Zack Sabre Jr. gets fed up and rushes in to boot him out of the throne! The show ends with Zack standing atop the throne, holding the wXw title belt aloft as we fade to black.
Main event aside, the second half of the Superstars of Wrestling weekender was a success, you’d have to say. Starting out strong with the tag title match, the show barely wavered, with plenty of solid matches and some history too with the first clear signs of Walter moving away from being a Big Daddy and being Big Caps WALTER. This is worth going back and watching, if only to see how far everyone’s come.