Ilja Dragunov returned to Dresden as he found himself in with a shot at the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship.

We open with a video package set in the woods, comparing the colour spectrum to personality, before we’re taken to Andy Jackson on his lonesome on the balcony in the Kraftwerk Mitte.

wXw World Tag Team Championship: Jay-FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) (c)
After winning the tag team titles at 16 Carat Gold, Aussie Open – Schadenfreude Edition finally gave Jay-FK their rematch. Not that the challengers seemed too fussed, as they were content to troll the crowd on their way down.

Jay-FK try to jump the champions before the bell, but they’re smart to it. Incidentally, Chris Brookes wasn’t around to provide any kind of guidance or moral support – he was a few hundred miles away at GOOD Wrestling this evening. Kyle crashes into Francis Kaspin early with a high angle Quebrada as the champions stormed out of the gates, first going after Kaspin, then Jay Skillet, as an early tiltawhirl backbreaker got Kyle a near-fall. The tide turns thanks to some double-teaming as a superkick-assisted death valley driver has Kyle on the mat for a spell. Skillet stomps on Kyle in the corner, but the ref refuses to count a pin because of the cheating, as Jay-FK looked to use quick tags to wear down Fletcher.

A double-team suplex from Fletcher helps to get him free as Davis comes in for his customary chop/clothesline assault as both halves of Jay-FK were in the ring… but not to worry, a double End of Days from Dunkzilla put them down. Eventually. The Gold Coast Waterslide’s slipped out of as Kaspin tries for a death valley driver… in vain… although a kick from Skillet helps Kaspin with a Code Red before another superkick-assisted death valley driver led to another near-fall for the challengers.

Kyle Fletcher comes in to clear house with a crossbody off the top, before the champions double-team with an assisted Go To Sleep and the double-team Aussie Arrow for a near-fall. A Parade of Strikes led to Kaspin mule kicking Davis low for a near-fall – despite Skillet pushing Kaspin down from the outside – before Kyle returned to help with a Fidget Spinner for the win. Decent enough, but sticklers for tag team rules will hate the second half of this match. ***

Oliver Carter vs. Veit Müller
This was Carter’s first taped outing for wXw since his appearance in London earlier in the year – and given that the new NXT UK signee was up against Veit Müller, I’d be surprised to see him mark his return with a win.

Carter looks to restrain Müller early with a wristlock, but the tables quickly turn as the newest RINGKAMPF member got to the ropes before lifting the Ghanaian to the top rope. Carter’s let down, but he quickly comes back in with some headscissors, only for Müller to retaliate with a clothesline to the back of the head ahead of a gutwrench suplex.

Müller wins a battle of forearms as he knocked Carter down for a Steiner Recliner, which he then broke to roll him over for a two-count. A powerslam is next for a two-count, but Carter surprises him with a wheelbarrow roll-up before a springboard back cracker led to yet another near-fall. An Irish whip from Müller takes Carter into the corner, rebounding him into a back body drop, before Veit slapped Carter off the top rope a la Timothy Thatcher with a goozle and a chop. Veit proceeded to drag Carter back through the ropes with a Gojira clutch, before coming back with a butterfly suplex for a two-count as Veit began to adopt more of the WALTER moveset.

Carter elbows out of the Keiler Recliner exploder suplex before a log roll swept Müller to the mat as he found a second wind, coming close with a Quebrada before surprising Veit with a powerslam off the ropes. It’s still not enough though, as Veit rebounds with a big lariat before a Keiler Recliner suplex earned the win. A strong effort from Carter, but in the end it wasn’t enough as the newest member of RINGKAMPF continued to build up momentum. ***

Amale Winchester vs. Valkyrie vs. Killer Kelly
This became a number one contender’s match in all but name on the Road to True Colors show, with Amale Winchester being a pain in the side of Karsten Beck throughout.

Winchester starts by booting Valkyrie to the outside, but she’s quickly peppered by kicks as Killer Kelly – who also has designs of getting into title contention – looked to get the upper hand. A cravat, some knees, and a big boot drop Winchester early on as Kelly looked to make this brief, but a clothesline to the back of the head saves Amale for a spell, only for her to get taken outside as Valkyrie looked to get herself some payback.

Valkyrie and Kelly worked together to take the Frenchwoman down with an apron PK, before the Irishwoman blocked a Kelly PK and hit the ring for a through-the-ropes dropkick for good measure. Back inside, Kelly surprises her with a small package for a near-fall, before Valkyrie hit right back with a back elbow out of the corner to keep the match fluid. Kelly’s headbutt stops Valkyrie and nearly led to the win, but Winchester comes back to stop a Shibata-ish dropkick, instead landing a facewashing boot to Kelly in the corner. Forearms from Winchester keep Valkyrie down too, following up with a figure four headscissors to the head that served to only anger Valkyrie. Running forearms and shoulder charges pin Winchester into the corner ahead of some kicks, just as Killer Kelly returned… she catches a spinning heel kick and tosses Valkyrie with a wrist clutch exploder before Winchester’s Northern Lights suplex almost led to a win.

Winchester gets caught with some double-teaming though, as Kelly and Valkyrie ended up turning their sights back on each other… only for a snap suplex and a Shibata-ish dropkick from Kelly to leave Valkyrie down and out. Amale returns with a shotgun dropkick and a hip attack, before catching Valkyrie in the corner with a DDT for a near-fall. A second cover’s attempted, this time on Kelly, but to no avail as both Valkyrie and Winchester end up rolling to the outside. Kelly tries for the rolling death valley driver on Valkyrie, only to get caught with an enziguiri… and when Valkyrie headed up top for a Death Note, she’s sent flying when Winchester shoved Kelly into the corner, before Amale snatched a win with a reverse STO. This was action-packed and produced an unlikely result – albeit an unpopular one in Dresden. **¾

We get a video package of events since 16 Carat Gold, showing the internal conflict that Lucky Kid’s having to deal with around RISE and Schadenfreude… and how Absolute Andy’s’ trying to capitalise on this all.

Absolute Andy vs. Lucky Kid
Since losing his rematch to Bobby Gunns in short order, it looks like Andy’s having to bait his way back into some sort of title contention… so we get a match up here between the last two winners of 16 Carat Gold.

Andy tries to get in Lucky’s head by using him as a literal surfboard early on, before some playful hair ruffling just left Lucky nonplussed. Lucky gets his own back, patting Andy where he had hair, before a drop toe hold left Andy on the mat as the feeling-out process continued. After teasing a fake-out, Lucky heads into Andy with a tope con giro before taking the fight around the ringside area, with Andy taking the ring apron before he accidentally chopped the ring post. Back in the ring, Lucky tries for a crossface, but Andy gets a foot to the rope, heading outside where he caught a 619-like kick on the apron… only for Lucky to escape and throw him back into the apron.

Stomps from Lucky Kid leave Andy prone for a low dropkick, before the former champion suckered Lucky with some uppercuts… only to see a kick get caught as Andy got trapped in the ropes in a sort-of sitting Paradise Lock and dropkicked free. Andy mounts another comeback with a tiltawhirl backbreaker, then a big clothesline, before a Kevin Nash boot choke trapped Lucky in the corner. Lucky tries to fight back with a chop, but it’s ducked as Andy kept the upper hand. A sleeperhold’s fought out of, only for Andy to pull Lucky back to the mat by the hair, before he turfed Lucky to the outside again. The pace slows down here, as Andy lands some solid shots on the outside as he continued to wear down this year’s Carat winner.

Some body blows from Lucky led to him just running into a clothesline as Andy has him knocked loopy… but not loopy enough as Lucky escapes a powerbomb and comes back in with a handspring back elbow. Lucky replies to more shots from Andy, but the baseball pitch-like punch is ducked as Andy ends up lifting him to the top rope… only for Lucky to escape and take him down hard with a superplex. Problem was, Lucky couldn’t capitalise as he was so worn out… but was able to build up momentum with a pair of low dropkicks to have Andy reeling. Lucky looks for a La Mistica into a crossface, but adjusts it into a cutter for a near-fall, before he pulled Andy back down for the crossface. That quickly ends in the ropes as Andy squirmed and got a foot there, and that seemed to give the former champion some fresh impetus as a backcracker has Lucky back in trouble… giving Andy time to tee up for a superkick.

Lucky ducks it and instead surprises Andy with a small package… before a superkick landed at the second attempt for a near-fall. From there, Andy goes for the F5, lifting himself and Lucky up top… but it’s escaped as Lucky took his chance up top… only to miss a 450 splash, as Andy hits straight back with the F5 for a near-fall! Andy looks to put an exclamation mark on with a moonsault, but Lucky rolls away and tries to rebound with a sunset flip… only for Andy to grab the ropes and steal the win. A heavily tainted win for Andy after a match that started out super slow, but picked up big time coming into the closing stretch. ***½

We’ve a recap from the Road to True Colors where the Crown bullied Julian Pace into a match here.

Julian Pace & Wheeler Yuta vs. The Crown (Alexander James & Jurn Simmons)
Yuta’s got to hold back Pace before the bell as he’s more than annoyed with the Crown – so it’s Yuta and Alexander James who start, with the latter schooling Yuta in the early going.

Yuta snaps James to the mat for a quick two-count as AJ’s forced to collect himself… but he’s quickly pulled to the mat in a grounded abdominal stretch as Yuta looked to end this early, before a dropkick took James into the corner for a tag out. In comes Jurn… and in charges Pace, who Simmons brushed away like an annoying bug before a shoulder tackle knocked Pace to the mat.

Julian rebounds with a springboard crossbody out of the corner, following in with some ground and pound, before his misdirection in and around the ropes built up to a neckbreaker on Jurn for a two-count. Yuta and Pace exchange some quick tags as they wore down Simmons’ left arm, before a blind tag from James led to the tide shifting, as Yuta ended up being popped up into an uppercut for a near-fall.

The Crown begin to target Yuta, keeping him in their corner with a mixture of technical holds and general rough-housing from James and Jurn respectively. A standing double armbar from James has Yuta in trouble, but he counters an uppercut with a backslide for a near-fall, only for James to land a clothesline as the Crown restored the status quo. A discus back elbow and a Massive Boot from James and Jurn respectively almost put Yuta away, but Wheeler, erm, wheels away to tag in Pace, who flew in with a missile dropkick off the top. More wacky rope running confounds the Crown as a dropkick took care of them ahead of a Spanish Fly to James, before a superkick from Pace helps Yuta with a Downward Spiral.

More double-teaming targets James this time, with Pace tearing off to crash into Jurn with a tope con giro on the outside. There’s a break as both men return, but it’s the Crown who catch some crossbodies off the top, countering them back with duelling Doctor Bombs, leaving Yuta to fight back on his own… and not for long either as an assisted Rains of Castamere left Yuta down, before a double team chokeslam planted Pace. All that’s left is for Yuta to take a Royal Execution, as that curb stomp gives the Crown the win – some plucky fight from Pace and Yuta, but the Crown are finding their groove here, with Jurn and James complimenting each other perfectly as a team. ***¼

Backstage, Karsten Beck’s looking for a cup before he called over Amale Winchester. He again builds up her hopes, then smashes them as he tells her he’s still not decided who Toni Storm’s challenger is for Superstars of Wrestling.

Avalanche is out next – he was looking for a new opponent after Emil Sitoci backed out of their scheduled Shotgun title match days before the show. A pre-match promo from Avalanche fills in the Dresden crowd on that news, before he issued an open challenge: looking for the wXw Academy’s best. Step forward Vinny Vortex – the current Academy cup champion!

Avalanche vs. Vinny Vortex
Vortex charges into Avalanche at the bell, but gets quickly shoved down and squashed with a back senton as Avalanche looked to take out his frustrations.

Vinny tries to make a comeback with a bodyslam, but Avalanche just falls back on top of him for a near-fall, before a slam and a big splash left Vinny down for another two-count. It remained one-way traffic from here on, as Vortex got taken into the corner, then squashed with an avalanche, before he was forced to fight out of a superplex. Avalanche gets shoved off the top as Vinny came down with a flying shoulder tackle as he looked to make a comeback… but after landing a headbutt, Vortex just runs into a clothesline before Avalanche’s version of Darkness Falls got the win. A nice little squash match for Avalanche, who I’m assuming is still getting that title match. **

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Marius al-Ani vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
Marius is slowly starting to grow his hair out, which is weird if you’ve just seen “bald Marius” for the last few years…

Felix Schulz gets the main event assignment in his home town – and normally I’d be like “uh oh, no Tas, Shooter’s getting bumped”, but let’s see.

We start with a three-way posedown, before the match burst into life, heading outside quickly with Ilja diving into Bobby Gunns with an early tope. Things turn around as Marius tried to go after Gunns in the ring, but he misses some running double knees as the champion charges in with elbows in the corner ahead of a butterfly suplex for a quick two-count as Dragunov breaks up the cover.

Ilja stays in and drops al-Ani with a clothesline before getting caught in the ropes with an armbar by Gunns… only for Marius to break that up by sending both men onto the outside. al-Ani and Gunns battle on the apron, trading kicks and right hands before Gunns went to Marius’ fingers, only to get caught with a death valley driver on the apron. The brawl continues up to the stage as al-Ani has to hiptoss out of an abdominal stretch, before Marius wandered to the back and picked up a pair of chairs. Well, a three-way is inherently no-DQ, but Ilja breaks up Marius’ plans before he and Gunns worked to suplex the former Shotgun champion through the open chairs.

That left us with Ilja and Bobby, going tit-for-tat in the right with right hands and uppercuts, before Ilja surprised Gunns with a leaping Slingblade. Bobby boots him away, but can’t avoid a DDT as Ilja came back with a Konstantin Spezial lariat for a near-fall. Just as Ilja looked to finish off Gunns with a Torpedo Moscau, al-Ani finds his way back as he grabbed Ilja and held him upside down with an ankle lock, before breaking the hold to leap in and take down Gunns with an Exploder.

Marius’ second wind keeps him on top… at least until Gunns hit a clothesline to swat away al-Ani’s springboard, but Marius is straight back in with a dropkick before Gunns counters a powerbomb into a guillotine choke. Which Ilja broke up with a big back senton off the top. Dragunov’s latest spell of offence led to al-Ani taking a death valley driver into Gunns in the corner for a near-fall. A superplex from Ilja ends with al-Ani just shoves him to the floor, before Gunns ran in with an attempt at a Swish armbar, pulling al-Ani into the middle of the ring… Marius tried to roll free, and nearly pinned Gunns, before he lifted up the champion and dumped him on the mat. That’s the cue for Ilja to return, but he’s brought in with a belly-to-belly suplex from al-Ani, who continued his momentum with a pair of over-the-turnbuckle planchas to both his opponents.

Back in the ring, a spinning heel kick knocks down Ilja for a two-count, as Gunns returns to kick Marius’ leg out of his leg. The Dresden crowd began to turn on Gunns some more as it looked like he was getting the upper hand while Ilja remained down. It didn’t help when Gunns stacked up Ilja on top of Marius, nor when a lariat from Gunns leaves Ilja down once again. In the end, Ilja and Marius end up taking a stacked-up German suplex from Gunns, who then ran into Marius with a lariat for a near-fall, before a Tower of Doom led to Marius powerbombing Gunns for a near-fall. There was a superplex to Ilja too in that tower, but al-Ani can’t get a pin from that either, so he goes for a chair… which Gunns avoided before he laid out al-Ani with a swift chair shot.

A version of the Ki-Krusher looked to get Gunns the win, but Ilja pulls out the ref to save the match… which prompts Gunns to head outside and get battered by Ilja, who looked to send him deep into the crowd, but Gunns ducks and sends Ilja into the second row with a nasty-looking German suplex. That almost made the finish elementary, but Marius hit back with an Exploder as he sensed this’d been turned into a singles match in all but name. A frog splash from Marius nearly led to the title change, as did an ankle lock, but Gunns eventually pushes his way free as Ilja returned. Except Ilja leaps into an ankle lock as al-Ani looked to be on top form, pulling Dragunov down to the mat. Dragunov makes it to the ropes, but it’s for nought as al-Ani pulls him back into the middle of the ring for a step-up elbow drop, before Gunns returned with a flash roll-up on al-Ani to snatch the win.

Dresden did NOT like that, but it was nice to see Gunns developing a bit of a sneaky streak as he retained the title by any means necessary – first by using a chair on al-Ani, then by taking an opportunity to snatch the pin. ***¼

With Superstars of Wrestling just weeks away in Oberhausen, True Colors didn’t “need” to be a big show. After all, having too many “must see” shows in quick succession can lead to fatigue – but with that being said, there was plenty on this show that was worth dipping into.

Next up for wXw is the Mitteldeutschland Cup – a show taped before True Colors, and a show that usually doesn’t make tape. That’ll be dropping at the weekend, before Superstars next month, which’ll be headlined by Bobby Gunns defending the wXw title against Joey Janela.