Shortcut to the Top’s in two weeks’ and wXw’s setting up new contenders for the tag team titles as the We Love Wrestling events returned!

Quick Results
Gulyas Junior pinned Norman Harras in 8:54 (**¾)
Vincent Heisenberg pinned Paris in 1:59 (NR)
Icarus & Dover pinned Aigle Blanc & Senza Volto in 12:14 (***½)
The Rotation pinned Peter Tihanyi in 11:26 (***)
Tristan Archer, Leon van Gasteren & Tim Stübing submitted Nikita Charisma, Michael Schenkenberg & Marius al-Ani in 14:56 (***½)

A fair amount has happened since wXw last made tape – they announced, and sold quite a few tickets for their (delayed) 20th Anniversary Show on August 7 in Oberhausen… then confirmed a second (ticketed) show a week later in Bielefeld. Normality is slowly starting to return.

We’re back at the Steffy for this, with Dave Bradshaw doing English commentary.

Dan Mallman’s backstage with Norman Harras to start us off. Norman’s comparing his current luck to the stock market – sometimes your stock goes up and up, and sometimes it crashes. Harras noted that his glory days have only been interrupted… which somehow made Dan suggest some professional help for Norman. That didn’t go well.

Gulyas Junior vs. Norman Harras
Harras continues to run through guys he’d beaten as Shotgun champion…

Norman forgot to take his watch off, delaying the start of the match… when we got going, Harras is taken into the corner, then got free to come in with a headlock takedown. Gulyas pushes free and charged Norman to the outside, but Harras returned and looked for an armbar… only to get thrown into the ropes for a hiptoss. Gulyas followed with a back senton for just a one-count, before Harras lifted him onto the apron. Forearms rock Gulyas, but Harras can’t hang him up in the ropes as the Hungarian took Norman into the corner… before getting booted through the ropes. On the floor, the pair trade kicks until Norman posted Gulyas.

Back inside, Harras gets a two-count as he proceeded to rake Gulyas’ face with his boots. A knee drop keeps it going as Harras looked to build that momentum. Shoulder charges in the corner, then a running elbow almost wins it, as did a back elbow off the ropes, before a slam was thwarted as Gulyas fell back on Harras. A swinging back suplex from Gulyas turns it around, leading to a cannonball in the corner for a near-fall, before Harras came back in with a diving knee to the ribs. He throws a big boot next… but an inside cradle from Gulyas nearly gets the win as Harras again whaled away on Gulyas with punches.

A right hand from Gulyas almost wins it, so the Hungarian winds up the armpit… but Harras snuck in with a rebound German suplex before his uppercut saw him land in the armpit, dazing him for long enough for Gulyas to hit a clothesline for the win. A little slow-paced, but Norman’s slowly finding his form… in short bursts. It’s a first win for Gulyas, and the bad luck continues for the former Shotgun champ. **¾

Post-match, a despondent Harras is interviewed by Andy Jackson. Norman still thinks he’s the champion, recalling the first match against Gulyas… and then Andy has to bring him the bad news. Norman reckons Andy’s the confused one, and threatens to call HR on him before he was asked about the Ahura/Maggot Shotgun title match next week. Like the best way to handle any junk call, there was no answer…

They recap the FAN main event, where Tristan Archer lost to Marius al-Ani… including the spot where Archer thought he’d won, only to be spoiled by a rope break. We’re then taken backstage as Andy Jackson’s with Tristan, who called it his best outing in wXw… only to get the title ripped away. Archer said he had no regrets though, before he was told about tonight’s trios main event. He obviously would rather have had a singles rematch…

…then stared down the camera lens and pleaded for a rematch if he wins tonight.

We’ve got a vignette… it’s for Axel Tischer’s return to wXw at their Anniversary show next month. The Axeman returneth.

Another recap, this time of Senza Volto and Aigle Blanc winning that handicap match, which led to Vincent Heisenberg getting shaved bald… and Maggot and Baby Allison redirecting Heisenberg’s anger afterwards. We’re then backstage as Dan Mallman’s with the trio, and Heisenberg’s more angry with the fact he’s not facing Feyyaz Aguila tonight.

Paris vs. Vincent Heisenberg
Poor Paris. This may be a televised murder attempt…

Paris wants to lock up. Vincent wants Feyyaz. Heisenberg gives Paris a big boot and some choking, before he shrugged off Paris’ uppercut. He pulls up Paris by the hair and throws him down in almost a reverse chokeslam for a near-fall, before an attempted crossbody from Paris was turned into a powerslam for the pin. Thanks for coming Paris, but this was a squash.

Post-match, Heisenberg kicks Paris out of the ring, before the interview with Andy Jackson was blown off, as Heisenberg only had eyes for Feyyaz.

We’re shown clips from the tag title tournament quarter final (hey there, logo!) with the Arrows of Hungary losing to Senza Volto and Aigle Blanc… they rematch next. But first, Aigle and Senza are gloating about not being mask-less or bald. Talk turns to the tag match that’s next, and you perhaps sensed that the French lads were a little too carried away with things…

Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover) vs. Senza Volto & Aigle Blanc
The winners get a shot at the tag titles at Shortcut to the Top in two weeks…

Aigle and Dover (the man, not the place) start us off, with Blanc’s side headlock restraining Dover as Senza Volto came in… only for the French lads to get lifted to the apron ahead of a ‘rana back in from Blanc. Senza swings and misses with kicks as Dover dumps him with a clothesline, before Icarus came in and offered his knees as a crashpad for a uranage from Dover. Icarus grounds Senza with an overhead wristlock that ends in the ropes, but Senza couldn’t mount much of a comeback before he managed to make the tag out. Aigle’s springboard crossbody gets a two-count as he proceeded to tie up Icarus with a grounded armbar. They take Icarus to the corner as some double-teaming gets Senza a two-count, before he grounded Icarus with a headlock takedown.

Eventually getting free, forearms and chops from Icarus see him take a bad move as he looked to go into the corner… but double-teaming left him wide open, culminating in a Meteora-assisted sunset flip that almost got the win. A kick to the back just pisses off Icarus, who roared up… only to take a back senton as Aigle almost got the win. Forearms to the lower back from Aigle rock Icarus, but the Hungarian gets free with a back body drop before both men made tags out. Dover runs wild with shoulder blocks… before he chucked the French lads around for fun. There’s a double slam from Dover, who then tied up Senza with a Stretch Muffler. Icarus restrains Aigle with a Heart of Europe, but Senza gets to the ropes anyway, before he got caught in the Arrows’ corner. He fought free, low bridging Dover to the outside, before dropkicking Icarus to the floor ahead of a tope from Aigle. Senza adds an Arabian press to the floor too, before the French lads threw in a tombstone and a moonsault for a near-fall on Icarus.

Senza and Aigle take too long to follow up, as Icarus makes another hot tag to Dover… but he’s caught with a knee and a Dragon suplex as the match breaks down a little. Icarus gets caught with a handspring cutter from Senza, who then went up… and got booted down by Dover. That leaves Aigle alone, but an inside cradle almost gets the win for the Frenchman, before an Alabama slam into a kick, then a Crossfire led to victory. A good little tag match as the Arrows get another crack at the tag titles – having put their shady tactics firmly in the rear view mirror (you’d hope!) ***½

Post-match, Andy Jackson’s back with the mic… Icarus promises the Hungarians will make it to the titles from there.

Backstage, Andy’s with Fast Time Moodo, who’s a little downbeat… because Stephanie Maze apparently has had a setback in her recovery, and isn’t due back anytime soon. Dennis Dullnig interrupts, as he too knows what it is like to be without a tag partner. Moodo shoots him down before the question could be asked… but Dennis asks it anyway, and gets told in no uncertain terms, that Moodo couldn’t imagine a worst tag team partner. It led to some bickering, and a singles match for some point…

The Rotation’s backstage with Dan Mallman… hopefully he didn’t steal Moodo’s shirt! Rotation reckons Tihanyi will offer a challenge, and notes that he learned some stuff about the win-less Tihanyi after teaming with him.

The Rotation vs. Peter Tihanyi
Commentary notes their one-time tag team as we got going…

It’s a tentative start as Tihanyi grabbed a wristlock… Rotation returns the favour before he’s thrown free. Rotation sweeps the leg and tried for an ankle lock, but Tihanyi proves elusive, catching an up kick before the lucha-inspired series ended with a pair of attempted dropkicks en route to a stand-off. A gentleman’s agreement from the Rotation leads to a knucklelock, before a springboard armdrag and a dropkick from Rotation got him a two-count. Rotation stomps on Tihanyi’s shoulder as he looked to wear down the Hungarian, setting up for a wacky grounded Octopus, before Rotation returned to the arm.

Tihanyi returns with armdrags, which led to an armbar on the deck, before Rotation caught Tihanyi in a deathlock. It’s escaped, as the pair begin to trade chops… Rotation escaped a back suplex and cartwheeled back in off the top rope, before a satellite DDT caught out Tihanyi for a two-count. A moonsault from Tihanyi saw him get a two-count after some offence, before a tope caught out Rotation on the floor. Back inside, Tihanyi’s Meteora lands for another near-fall, before a lifting reverse DDT was escaped… with Rotation coming in with an O’Connor roll for a near-fall. Rotation heads up top for a springboard missile dropkick, then dumped Tihanyi with almost a Ranhei for a near-fall.

Rotation tries to finish off Tihanyi with a 450 splash, but it’s aborted as the Hungarian lands the lifting reverse DDT for a near-fall, before a Shiranui from Tihanyi was blocked. A reverse ‘rana from Rotation leads to a superkick… before the Victory Over Gravity 450 splash landed for the win. This one looked to get a little scrappy towards the end, but a good showing in defeat from Tihanyi as Rotation bounced back from his Shotgun title loss last month. ***

Backstage, Dan’s with Anil Marik and Robert Dreissker. They’ve recovered after their title defence against Leon and Tim… and then Dan asks Robert about the mask vs. hair match again. Dreissker points out that Feyyaz isn’t an active member of the wXw roster, so Heisenberg’s shouting is for nought… although he mentioned that Feyyaz needs to face some consequences for what he did. They talk about their upcoming match with the Arrows, as they will be facing familiar competition in two weeks.

Speaking of: Shortcut to the Top hits on July 30, with the Arrows getting their tag title shot… plus that 30-person over-the-top Shortcut to the Top match, with the winner getting a title shot at the anniversary show. Announced so far are Michael Knight, Levaniel, Fast Time Moodo, Iva Kolasky, Paris, Gulyas Junior, Nikita Charisma, Michael Schenkenberg, Nicky Foxley, Dennis Dullnig, Vincent Heisenberg and Bobby Gunns. That reveal segment reminded me a lot of the classic Royal Rumble trailers…

Dan’s backstage with Marius al-Ani and Rott und Flott. Marius addresses the rope break “controversy” from FAN, before Nikita Charisma ripped on Dan’s questioning, while Michael Schenkenberg offered to work with Marius to rid wXw of their nonsense. Needless to say, Marius wasn’t entirely impressed…

Marius al-Ani & Rott und Flott (Nikita Charisma & Michael Schenkenberg) vs. Tristan Archer, Leon van Gasteren & Tim Stübing
I absolutely adore that Rott und Flott theme, and thankfully, wXw’s posted it on their YouTube during the summer…

Stübing and Schenkenberg start us off, with Schenkenberg grounding Tim early on, taking Stübing’s back before he literally elbowed the headband off of him. It’s turned into a side headlock as Schenkenberg clamped down, but Stübing gets free, lands a leaping shoulder block then took Schenkenberg down with a dropkick.

A Corning hold from Schenkenberg stops Stübing amid some switcharoos, which led to a kick to the back from Schenkenberg as Charisma tagged in. Stübing fights out of a double-team attempt, but gets kicked as he went for a sunset flip before he tagged out to van Gasteren, whose uppercuts wore down Charisma for a one-count. Van Gasteren elbows Charisma on the head before a sleeperhold looked to wear down the Russian native. There’s an escape as Charisma hits a low dropkick to van Gasteren to get around his dropdown attempt, but Leon’s quickly back with rolling German suplexes, eventually throwing Charisma before Schenkenberg tagged in.

Leon’s right on him with uppercuts ahead of a diving dropkick into the corner for a two-count. Schenkenberg blocks a German suplex and instead DDTs van Gasteren for a two-count, before Marius al-Ani tagged in to pick apart at a wounded van Gasteren. There’s a headlock takedown from al-Ani, who rolled through for a dropkick to the back of the head too, before van Gasteren got back in with some chops in the corner. al-Ani fires back with right hands, then a running knee, leaving van Gasteren on jelly legs. Clotheslines from Marius miss as van Gasteren hits some headscissors to take the champion down… but al-Ani sidesteps away from a superkick as Tristan Archer tagged in. Marius instantly tagged out to Charisma, but the Frenchman cleared his way through Rott und Flott, slamming Schenkenberg onto Charisma for a two-count.

Stübing comes in and measures up for a crane kick… but Charisma blocked it. al-Ani tags in, but gets swarmed by Stübing… who then got decked and slammed. A suplex drops Stübing as al-Ani brings Schenkenberg in to stomp a mudhole in Stübing, who found himself in the wrong corner. al-Ani’s back to drop an elbow on Stübing, who replied with a flash Codebreaker to give him a chance. Stübing manages to make the tag out to Archer, but again al-Ani tagged out to Charisma. Archer chases al-Ani as van Gasteren took over in the ring, but for some reason the ref didn’t count Archer out on the outside as Stübing and van Gasteren tore through Rott und Flott with uppercuts. A plancha from Stübing wipes out al-Ani, while van Gasteren made Rott Charisma accidentally DDT his own man.

To make matters worse, Charisma’s thrown into Schenkenberg, sending both sailing to the outside over the top rope. Archer returns to dive onto them, while van Gasteren made a rare trip up top for a crossbody into the pile. The Parade of Moves continues as al-Ani kneed Stübing, before a Charisma spear dropped Stübing… stunners and a Falcon arrow followed as the match broke down, leading to La Terreur from Archer on Charisma for a near-fall. Al-Ani breaks up the pin by grabbing an ankle lock on Archer… who retaliated with a Million Dollar Dream on al-Ani. Charisma tries to break it up, but it’s ineffective as Archer decked al-Ani with a ripcord lariat, before Archer just puts the hold on Charisma for the submission. A really good trios match, and while that loss doesn’t break al-Ani’s streak, it does perhaps get us closer to another title shot for the Frenchman. ***½

Post-match, Archer tries Stübing’s crane kick out, before he stared at al-Ani’s title belt that he’d left at ringside. Apparently that makes Marius an absentee champion, but Archer vowed that he’d not lose a third time to him as we close the show…

Perhaps a little heavy in terms of recaps, but this was a solid return from the summer break for wXw. On paper, it looks like we’ve only a few weeks of shows left in the “empty arena” era for wXw, as they have those shows in Oberhausen and Bielefeld next month as they prepare for September’s Catch Grand Prix weekender.