We Slam into May as wXw presents the big title rematch, with Marius al-Ani looking to put two more additions to his streak in a best-of-three-falls match against Bobby Gunns.
Norman Harras pinned Michael Knight in 5:59 to retain the wXw Shotgun Championship (**¾)
Levaniel pinned Peter Tihanyi in 5:10 (**¼)
Dennis Dullnig & Hektor Invictus pinned Leon van Gasteren & Tim Stübing in 10:56 (**¾)
Marius al-Ani defeated Bobby Gunns by 2 falls to 1 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in 18:43 (***½)
As wXw is in the midst of taping new shows, we’re back at the Steffy in Oberhausen for the latest episode of the We Love Wrestling series. Dave Bradshaw runs down the four matches announced, then highlights of last week’s tag team main event… but we open with a Shotgun title match. Dään Jokisch interviews Michael Knight backstage ahead of his match. Knight’s looking to establish himself in wXw with a title win… and it’s straight to the ring.
wXw Shotgun Championship: Michael Knight vs. Norman Harras (c)
As ever, we’ve a 15 minute time-limit for this match, as Norman’s finally starting to win clean…
Harras starts by taking Knight to the corner, before Harras got to the ropes to escape a wristlock. The favour’s returned as Harras tries the wrist, but Knight counters out with a takedown and a toe hold, before Harras pushes out of a side headlock. Knight finds his way in with a satellite sunset flip for a near-fall, but Harras stops that aggression with a shot in the corner. A knee in the opposite corner from Knight looked to provide an answer, but Harras comes back with a hot shot that almost sent him sailing to the floor. Harras followed him with a back suplex onto the edge of the ring, before he missed a running kick in the corner, hanging his leg in the buckles.
Knight tries to capitalise, floating over another Harras charge before clotheslining him in the corner, then following up with a springboard clothesline for a near-fall of his own. A rebound German suplex and a diving uppercut from Knight puts him back on top, before a gutwrench neckbreaker – dubbed the Hostile Takeover – for the win. Harras is more than growing into this role, and getting the ring time to match. **¾
Post-match, Andy Jackson’s out to interview Norman, and throw in a backhanded compliment or two. Norman’s suitably sarcastic. As for Andy’s usual role here, he tells Norman his challenger next week: Gulyas Junior. Norman’s not watched the product, as he has no idea who he is, and may be taking him lightly…
They replay the Marius al-Ani interview from last week…
And after that, they replay Maggot’s win over Aigle Blanc last week, but they freeze-frame the unmasking of Aigle… ring announcer Frank Fehrmann announces that a rematch was scheduled for today, but Aigle didn’t show up because he still had no mask. So we have no match, but we do have Maggot out by himself and a microphone.
Maggot accuses Frank of lying, because he “saw” Aigle Blanc backstage… and introduces him… as Vincent Heisenberg carries out someone in the mask over his shoulder. Heisenberg slams him into the ring for a “match”, which Allison officiates. Maggot splashes “Aigle Blanc” off the bottom rope and claims a hollow win, before unmasking Feyyaz Aguila as “Aigle Blanc.” They all celebrate, only for Senza Volto to come out and dropkick Heisenberg, before charging Maggot into the corner as he tried to regain the mask. Allison makes the save, before Heisenberg slammed Senza before Maggot ripped off Senza’s mask. Cue tight zooms as they avoid Senza’s face while Maggot and Heisenberg parade their new collection of masks. Which Maggot then shoved down his trousers.
Next week: we’re getting a “mission statement” from Maggot’s group. Ooh, are they going to be the fake luchadors you see on every “live wrestling in your town” show?
They replay Levaniel’s win over Michael Knight at Dead End, as Levaniel returns to action tonight.
Levaniel vs. Peter Tihanyi
During his intro, Levaniel took the mic and claimed he’d leave his opponent lovesick tonight.
We’ve a measured start as the pair head into the ropes from the opening lock-up, before Tihanyi dropped down to the mat and offered Levaniel out. It worked as Levaniel’s pulled into a leglock, with Tihanyi looking to find an opening, but he ends up getting caught with a spinning heel kick as Levaniel picks up an early one-count. Tihanyi pulls down Levaniel from a kick and leads in for a moonsault out of the corner for a two-count, before Levaniel manages to duck an enziguiri.
An Orton-ish backbreaker follows from Levaniel, then a running elbow into the corner, before landing a suplex for a two-count. Tihanyi returns with an enziguiri as he pulls Levaniel into a triangle choke, but Levaniel powers up, but a sunset flip nearly puts him away. A discus lariat drops the Hungarian seconds later, before the Galactic Face crusher got the win after a fairly even but brief outing. **¼
Post-match, Levaniel hugs Andy Jackson before he put over Tihanyi in his post-match interview. They then replay the Bobby Gunns interview from last week…
But first, our semi-main event, which gets a pre-match interview as Dennis Dullnig’s downing a can of Monster. He argues with Hektor Invictus about their pairing as Hektor’s got a notepad… while Dennis has a tag rope, because they kept forgetting to hold onto it. Hektor reads from his book of tag team rules, but Dennis just blows his nose as Hektor stormed off.
Dään quickly returns to interview Leon van Gasteren and Tim Stübing. They talk about last week, as Tim says the loss is down to his lack of experience, with him now understanding that he wasn’t ready for a title shot after all. Leon seems to think they’ll have an easier time today because their opponents just can’t get along.
Hektor Invictus & Dennis Dullnig vs. Leon van Gasteren & Tim Stübing
Dullnig again tries to wave Hektor’s flag, and gets browbeaten for it…
Stübing starts by working over Dullnig’s arm, but the wristlock’s reversed… before Stübing counters into a hammerlock. A dropkick keeps Stübing ahead, as Dullnig swings and misses on elbows before getting taken down. Van Gasteren’s in to crank Dullnig’s neck, before a grounded Octopus ended with van Gasteren pulling him up for a chop. Out of nowhere, Dullnig lands a clothesline as he pounds away on van Gasteren… a tag brings in Hektor, eventually. Ropes. Stomps from Hektor lead to another tag as Dullnig made a point of holding the tag rope… with a double back elbow dropping van Gasteren for a two-count.
Wash, rinse, repeat. Hektor’s clothesline gets a two-count, before Dullnig distracted his own man by waving Hektor’s flag. Van Gasteren comes back with armdrags as Dullnig keeps waving, but it doesn’t inspire as Stübing tagged back in and got monkey flipped into Hektor for a two-count. A double-team suplex drops Hektor for a two-count… Stübing keeps going with a back elbow before his crane kick was ducked. Hektor’s up kick drops Stübing as Dullnig tagged in for more stomps, then a floatover suplex to get a two-count, before he threw Stübing back for another two-count.
Dullnig goes for Stübing’s nose, but ends up taking a lungblower as both men tag out. Van Gasteren springboards into Hektor as he clears house, dumping Dullnig with a German suplex… then Hektor, before a Flatliner/DDT combo nearly ends the match for Leon. A kick in the ropes from Dulllnig stops Stübing as he then gets pancaked… before a roll-up Hektor powerbomb and a Dullnig hook kick lands for a near-fall. Van Gasteren tries to pull things back with a Stunner, but Stübing’s crane kick drops Dullnig for a two-count, before Stübing accidentally dropkicked his own man. Dullnig chucks Stübing to the outside, before he went for Hektor’s flag. Hektor’s enraged and accidentally distracts the ref as Dullnig legit breaks the flag over van Gasteren’s head to get the pin. Hektor’s sad as his flagpole is going to need some hammering out… like that team. **¾
Backstage, Robert Dreissker and Anil Marik are told that Rott und Flott and the Arrows of Hungary will wrestle next week for a shot at their titles. Marik puts over the Arrows big time, but had some praise for Rott und Flott… while Dreissker chimed in by saying that Rott und Flott shouldn’t be underestimated.
Best Two-of-Three Falls for the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Bobby Gunns vs. Marius al-Ani (c)
You’ve got to go back to December 2019 for the last time Gunns went into a title match as a challenger – back at the wXw 19th Anniversary show where he won a four-way to take the title from Timothy Thatcher…
al-Ani tries to dictate the pace early, but he’s taken down in a wristlock as Gunns looked for an early advantage. A dropkick from the champion has Gunns down, but he’s able to escape from a leg lock attempt and move to a chinlock before the pair reset. They exchange elbow strikes, before Gunns got behind al-Ani and looked for an armbar, only for the double armbar to be reversed. Gunns counters back and traps al-Ani in a Cobra twist, but it ends with al-Ani getting to the ropes and getting kicked down. A spinning heel kick gets swiped away as Gunns takes al-Ani down for a Swish armbar, but a rope break saves the champion from conceding. al-Ani knocks Gunns down in the corner, before he rolled Gunns down for an up kick… but Gunns counters with a German suplex, only to run into a Superman punch, as a Diamond Driver puts al-Ani 1-0 up at 8:02 in the match.
Gunns is still on the mat as they restart, with al-Ani grabbing an ankle lock, only for Gunns to roll through and counter with a STF. That ends in the ropes, so Gunns comes back with German suplexes, only for Marius to return with a clothesline to slow the pace down. We’re back to strikes as the pair trade uppercuts and kicks, with al-Ani getting knocked into the ropes… but he’s able to counter out of a guillotine choke, only to get kicked down to the mat as Gunns lands an Ehrenmann Driver to tie it up at 12:35. Hey, is that the streak broken? I bet Marius will say no…
The final fall starts with al-Ani pulling himself up by the ropes, as Gunns charges in to take him back down in search of the Swish armbar. al-Ani squirms into the ropes quickly, where he’s caught with a series of forearms. A clothesline dumps him down as Gunns looked to be resurgent, but al-Ani boots him out of the corner as both men were left laying. al-Ani’s back up first, choking away on Gunns in the corner, before a snapmare and a low dropkick drew a two-count. A slingshot from al-Ani takes him in for an Exploder, then a spinning heel kick as Gunns was left rocked in the ropes, but he just suckers al-Ani in for an inside cradle for a near-fall.
A powerbomb from al-Ani nearly wins the match, before a second Diamond Driver ended with Gunns going to the ropes, where he looked for an O’Connor roll. That almost gets the win, but al-Ani is right back with a clothesline before a Diamond Driver was countered. Marius comes back with a Superman punch before following up with a flurry of punches to force a stoppage at 18:43. Marius didn’t get the clean sweep, but wins the match – and retains the title – as he cemented his place atop wXw here. ***½
On paper, this was a one-match show, and it was borne out by the format having replays of the build-up interviews – just in case you missed last week. The main event delivered exactly what it needed to – a result that didn’t blow Bobby Gunns out of the water, but left him with just enough in the form of a streak-busting pin to taunt al-Ani with ahead of an eventual rematch (hopefully with crowds).