We’ve a big ol’ battle royal on the latest episode of We Love Wrestling, as the roster fights for a shot at Marius al-Ani’s Unified World Wrestling Championship.

Quick Results
Robert Dreissker pinned Dover in 5:34 (**¼)
Aigle Blanc submitted Nikita Charisma in 6:35 (**¼)
Michael Schenkenberg pinned Dennis Zinner 6:40 (**¼)
Icarus submitted Anil Marik in 5:37 (**½)
Marius al-Ani submitted Paris in 5:52 (**)
Levaniel won a battle royal in 15:48 (**½)

We’re back at the Steffy in Oberhausen, with Dave Bradshaw on English commentary…

First up, Robert Dreissker with a backstage interview. He’s asked about the upcoming title defence against the Arrows of Hungary. Dreissker tells us he watched the match to come up with a game plan, but of course he’s not going into that now… instead, he threw in a playful jab at their first round elimination in the tag title tournament. Tonight, Dreissker wrestles Dover (a man who always seems to look shocked in the match graphics), as the big lads of the two tag teams lock horns.

Dover’s got a response, as he reckons the Arrows will grab their chance at the tag titles in two weeks’ time.

Robert Dreissker vs. Dover
Both Anil Marik and Icarus were at ringside for this one, seconding their tag team partners…

Dreissker backs Dover to the corner from the opening lock-ups, before he grabbed a side headlock. Dover pushes off, but eventually gets barged down after a series of shoulder tackles. He tries a slam, but Dreissker falls on top for a two-count, then grounded the Hungarian with a side headlock. A sunset flip from Dreissker nearly wins it, before a Samoan drop out of the corner added another two-count with Dover struggling to get into any kind of gear. Dreissker followed up with a slam and some running elbow drops, as Dover eventually fired back by slapping Dreissker in the face… before finally slamming Dreissker out of a crossbody.

Dover seemingly went for a Samoan drop, but it’s blocked as Dreissker returned with a clothesline, before a Dreissker bomb put Dover away. A bit of a sprint between the two big lads, with Dreissker virtually blitzing Dover in short order. **¼

Aigle Blanc’s backstage, feeling buzzed now he’s got his mask back. He builds up the mask vs. hair match in two weeks’ time, but first he’s got Nikita Charisma in a singles match.

Nikita Charisma vs. Aigle Blanc
This was Charisma’s singles debut in wXw as the night of tag partners having each others’ backs continued. Except for Aigle, who was out on his lonesome…

We’ve a testy opening spell as Blanc rolled Charisma to the mat, but it’s Charisma who grabs a wristlock before Blanc countered back with one of his own. An up kick catches Charisma out as Blanc continues with an uppercut in the corner… before he came in with some headscissors after having been lifted onto the apron. A low dropkick from Blanc gets a two-count, before a toe hold’s pushed out of… Michael Schenkenberg punches Blanc between the ropes as Charisma replies with a backbreaker. From there, a surfboard stretch gets broken by Blanc, who lifts Charisma to the outside… only for Nikita to return with a spear through the ropes for a near-fall.

Charisma stays on top of Blanc with a backbreaker, but Blanc replies with boots out of the corner ahead of an enziguiri that sets up for a twisting suplex. Blanc heads up top after that, but he’s crotched on the ropes by Charisma, whose tornado DDT followed for a near-fall. Some headscissors through the ropes spike Charisma, with Blanc then tying him up in a cross-legged clutch… and that’s a quick submission as Charisma had no way out. **¼

Afterwards, Aigle Blanc said he was happy he passed the test with his first singles win… while Andy Jackson mentioned that Senza Volto turned down a spot in the battle royal tonight. Senza tells us he has other things to focus on… and then gets shocked by the news that Heisenberg, Maggot and Baby Allison are in the battle royal, which seemingly gave Senza an idea for later.

We get some promos from names in the battle royal… Dennis Dullnig is annoying Hektor Invictus because he’s looking at the tag team rule book and can’t find anything about battle royals. They argue about the flag… Tristan Archer has a promo… and then we’ve Dennis Zinner ahead of his match that’s up next.

Michael Schenkenberg vs. Dennis Zinner
Like earlier, Schenkenberg’s seconded by Nikita Charisma…

When we get going, the opening lock-up goes nowhere as Schenkenberg grabs a side headlock instead. Zinner’s back elbow helps him free as he takes Schenkenberg into the corner before a pop-up facebuster landed for a near-fall. Zinner’s caught in the corner as Schenkenberg throws him up into a powerslam, before some elbows from above wore down the Austrian. Schenkenberg charges Zinner into the corner next, before a Northern Lights landed for another near-fall, with Zinner starting to struggle once again.

Schenkenberg goes for a key lock on Zinner, then switched it up for a back suplex as Zinner tries to get free. Another slam’s escaped as Zinner returns with a discus lariat, then a leaping leg lariat, before a spinebuster planted Schenkenberg for a two-count. Zinner heads up and lands a crossbody, but can’t make the cover… so picks up Schenkenberg for the Main Syndrome, but it’s countered out of into a modified Falcon Arrow… and that’s the win for Schenkenberg. **¼

Post-match, Andy Jackson interviews Schenkenberg, who says that it was a team win before he stormed off.

More promos for the battle royal. Maggot, Baby Allison and Vincent Heisenberg reckon they can work as a team to get the win. Except they’re already arguing over who’d actually get the shot, but Baby Allison’s got quite the claim, having eliminated Absolute Andy at Shortcut to the Top last year.

Leon van Gasteren brings up the title shot he lost in Tampa when wXw’s trip to Germany was cancelled because of the pandemic… I always thought that was rough that he never got his shot. Maybe tonight, he’ll earn it? Meanwhile, Alpha Kevin’s hyperactive again because he gets to mention once more how he eliminated Chris Hero at a Shortcut to the Top years ago…

Anil Marik’s with Dään Jokisch backstage… he faces Icarus next. Marik isn’t daunted at the gulf in experience, as he reckons he’s prepared enough to have a few tricks up his sleeve. Then Icarus gets a response in a segment that I initially thought had Icarus and Dover just swap outfits… Icarus again says that the Arrows will become tag team champions this time around.

Icarus vs. Anil Marik
According to Cagematch, this was Marik’s 23rd match…

The opening lock-up doesn’t really get started, as Icarus grabs a side headlock to start off with. It’s pushed out of, but Icarus charges down Marik, who returns with a dropkick to take Icarus into the corner. Forearms follow, but a Slingblade’s blocked and turned into a back suplex as Icarus took down the relative newcomer. Icarus grounds Marik with an armbar as he then rolled Marik up for a chop. Marik tries to fight back, but his Codebreaker’s blocked, with a springboard enziguiri from Icarus being the response for a near-fall. A crossface is next from Icarus, who was rather methodical with his moves here, following in with another chop as Marik got free. It’s back to the armbar as Robert Dreissker tried to coach Marik from ringside, and it worked too as a rope break’s eventually called.

Marik found a way back in with a Slingblade, then a Codebreaker that picks up a two-count before he went up top and missed a leap. Instead, Icarus lands a rolling elbow, then a Tenzan Tombstone Driver… before rolling Marik into the Heart of Europe (Gargano Escape) for the submission. **½

Dreissker ran in to break up the hold, thinking Icarus held on a little too long as there’s some post-match aggravation.

Fast Time Moodo makes his case for winning the battle royal tonight…

They replay Emil Sitoci’s win over Tristan Archer at Dead End, and Archer’s attempt to try and get a rematch… but we get a promo “via satellite” from Emil Sitoci, who tells us he’s back home and won’t be returning anytime soon. Sure…Sitoci reckons his win over Archer is enough, because he discounts the losses last year due to injury and wants to let sleeping dogs lie.

Backstage, Dään Jokisch interviews Paris ahead of his trial series match. He’s got Marius al-Ani in (of course) a non-title match. Paris knows he’s cannon fodder here, but says he’ll go down swinging.

Paris vs. Marius al-Ani
By all rights, this should be pretty one-sided…

A trip has Paris on the deck early, with an ankle lock forcing Paris to scurry into the ropes. Paris tries to make a move, but he’s caught in a hammerlock, then a side headlock as al-Ani asserted himself. Headscissors free Paris, but al-Ani flips free as he resumed the offence, tripping Paris ahead of some headscissors on the mat. The ropes save Paris again, who’s quickly cornered with some body blows before a snap suplex dropped the Grecian. A clothesline puts him down again as al-Ani gets a two-count, but Paris tries his luck with uppercuts, knocking down the champion before he was caught with a scoop slam.

Kicks from al-Ani soften up Paris, who tries to avoid the ankle lock again, but an up kick taks Paris down once more for a two-count. The ankle lock follows, with al-Ani grounding Paris, who had to tap seemingly forever before the match was waved off. As dominant as you’d expect as al-Ani stretches his run to 22-0. **

Post-match, Marius is asked about Paris… there’s a gag about Marius being a Greek God, before he was asked to predict the battle royal winner. He doesn’t name anyone, but al-Ani just wants the best before he joined the German commentary team for the main event.

Battle Royal
Johnny Evers, Fast Time Moodo, Hektor Invictus, Dennis Dullnig, Aytac, Alpha Kevin, Levaniel, Rambo, Leon van Gasteren, Tristan Archer, Maggot, Vincent Heisenberg, Baby Allison and Senza Volto are your field for a shot at al-Ani’s title in two weeks’ time. At least everyone got their own entrance… which saw Dennis Dullnig come out with a decidedly makeshift replacement flagpole for Hektor.

Tristan Archer has to hold Senza Volto back from Maggot, Heisenberg and Allison during his entrance… while Levaniel grabs the mic for his entrance. He runs his mouth in the ring, and the bell rings as he’s instantly cornered… and ganged up on. After getting a kicking, Levaniel’s thrown over the top, but lands on the apron and rolled back in as everyone paired off. Dullnig has a scare, but manages to save himself as we get the usual scraps. Senza’s teamed up on by Maggot, Heisenberg and Allison as you’d expect, while Johnny Evers tries to eliminate Leon van Gasteren. Heisenberg tries to slam Volto out of the match, but to no avail as we continue to wait for the first elimination.

We’ve not got long to wait: Senza Volto lifts Baby Allison over the top rope, then elbowed her off the apron at 3:45 as she tried to go for his mask. An Eiffel Tower and a clothesline eliminates Maggot at 3:56, but Heisenberg tossed Volto over the top rope at 4:01… before Alpha Kevin’s attempt to take out the big man was thwarted. Johnny Evers dispatched Aytac at 4:41, before Rambo got rid of Evers at 5:06 – with some help from Aytac on the floor. Rambo doesn’t last too much longer, with Levaniel tossing him at 5:29 to keep the eliminations going, as we then have almost a minute before Heisenberg booted Alpha Kevin off the apron at 6:28 for the next exit.

A stunner from van Gasteren takes Heisenberg into the ropes, but a switcheroo sees Leon thrown out at 6:38 as he continues to wait for his title shot as we hit the final six. Heisenberg elbows Archer by the ropes, with the pair going back and forth before Fast Time Moodo decided to have a go, kicking away at Heisenberg. Those knock Heisenberg into the ropes as Archer tries to help eliminate Heisenberg, who lifts both Moodo and Archer onto the apron… Dual kicks catch Heisenberg as he tries to charge them off the apron, but instead of heading back inside, Archer and Moodo trade shots. Moodo’s kick’s blocked, as Archer knocked him to the floor at 8:28, before Archer rolled into the ring and got kicked in the head by Dullnig. Archer’s thrown over the top by Dullnig, then low bridges Invictus onto the apron… Dullnig makes the save, but just gets dispatched by Hektor at 9:27 as we hit our final four.

Heisenberg, Hektor, Levaniel and Archer are left – but it’s Heisenberg who has to fight them off as he’s literally steaming. Even more so when Hektor, Levaniel and Archer gang up to eliminate him at 10:23. Levaniel tries to throw Hektor into the ropes, but the pair just hit a double clothesline before Archer just lifted them over the top. Hektor and Levaniel trade elbows on the apron, rather than head back in for safety… and that costs Hektor as Archer knocks him off at 11:50.

Levaniel and Archer are our final two, but Levaniel dives back inside. Archer offers a handshake, and suckered Levaniel in by throwing him over the top… but Levaniel holds firm. Back inside, a spinning heel kick drops Archer, who returned with a Go 2 Sleep before Levaniel had to skin the cat. Levaniel pulls himself back in, but walks into a discus lariat as Archer then picked up Levaniel for what seemed to be the elementary elimination… dumping him over the top rope and onto the apron, but again Levaniel holds firm. A right hand knocks Levaniel back onto the edge of the ring, then another, as an annoyed Archer ended up being caught in a front guillotine, with Levaniel dragging him over the top rope a la the Big Show/Chris Benoit 2004 Rumble finish.

Instead though, they trade strikes on the apron, with Archer going for the throat, before Levaniel surprised Archer with a Galactic Facecrusher into the ringpost… and oh my God in heaven, Levaniel wins the title shot! That’s a chance to get something back after Marius al-Ani stood him up in the tag title tournament. I liked the way they used Heisenberg as a threat in this – in the old-school way of “the big man won’t be thrown out easily,” while in theory this ought to be another straightforward defence for al-Ani, but Levaniel’s already surprised once… **½

Post-match, Andy Jackson is as surprised as all of us, as the subtitler’s caps lock key breaks. Levaniel promises that the “rookie of two years” will take away the title al-Ani has worked so hard for.

They recap the battle royal, then confirm Levaniel will face Marius al-Ani for the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in two weeks at Drive of Champions.

As for today’s show, well, the road to Drive of Champions took us through a series of short, easy-to-digest matches as they build to and pay-off the storylines throughout the season – my only complaint is that none of the undercard really was able to get out of first gear.