Das Powercrowd ist zurück – wXw returned to Hamburg after over two years, with Axel Tischer and Tristan Archer in the main event in an iron man match.

Quick Results
Nikita Charisma & Michael Schenkenberg pinned Levaniel & Jurn Simmons in 7:00 (**¾)
Robert Dreissker submitted The Rotation in 5:59 (***)
Michael Knight & Bobby Gunns pinned Sebastian Suave & Norman Harras in 8:54 (**¾)
Aigle Blanc pinned Senza Volto in 15:08 (***¾)
Vincent Heisenberg defeats Psycho Mike via count-out in 10:12 (**½)
Iron Man Match – Tristan Archer defeated Axel Tischer by 4 falls to 3 in 60:00 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***¼)

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833 days – that’s how long it’s been since the Markthalle has held a wXw event. A lot’s changed since then… and unfortunately there was a late change to this card too, as Jonathan Gresham’s planned trip to Europe for wXw and PROGRESS was called off. Gone was Tristan Archer vs. Jonathan Gresham… instead, we get a rematch from True Colors, except with the addition of an iron man stipulation.

Thommy Giesen’s on hand for ring announcing, and our English commentary comes once again from Dave Bradshaw.

Jurn Simmons & Levaniel vs. Rott Und Flott (Michael Schenkenberg & Nikita Charisma)
Rott und Flott’s newly-won tag titles aren’t on the line here… as we look to get a handle on how much that friendship between Jurn Simmons and Levaniel was damaged last month. Levaniel bringing up his mistake so openly probably isn’t going to help… particularly as Jurn told him “I don’t need you to be sorry, I just need you to be better.”

Schenkenberg and Charisma attack from behind before the bell, but Levaniel clotheslines Charisma to the outside… and we get going with Levaniel battering Schenkenberg early on. A spinning heel kick drops Schenkenberg, but he’s taken into the corner, allowing Charisma to blind-tag in… but he mouths off and got slapped by Levaniel. A stalling suplex drops Schenkenberg, but Levaniel missed the tag, so Charisma comes in and hits a Busaiku knee into the corner as Levaniel found himself on the defensive. Schenkenberg’s back as a spin-out into a Charisma dropkick nearly put Levaniel away, only for Schenkenberg to get distracted by the crowd’s chants of “Schande-nberg.” Touche.

Charisma’s back in to hit a dropkick after Levaniel was put in a Tree of Woe, while a Schenkenberg diving clothesline snuffed out Levaniel’s brief hopes of a comeback. Levaniel’s knocked into the corners for a leaping forearm, but recovers with a crossbody off the middle rope… then hit a back body drop before finally making the tag out to Jurn Simmons, who ran wild on Rott und Flott, dumping Schenkenberg onto Charisma with a reverse slam. A suplex throw keeps Jurn ahead, while a Massive Boot sank Charisma. Schenkenberg’s press slammed onto his own man, then met with a standing moonsault as Levaniel demanded to tag in to prove “he was better.” He goes for his Intergalactic Face Crusher on Charisma, but it’s escaped as Levaniel’s thrown into Jurn…. Jurn’s taken outside, and that allows the champions to hit the Snapchat DDT… and that’s all folks. A lot of this was on Levaniel, whose desperation to show he’s not a let down to Jurn costs his team the match. **¾

Backstage, Dan Mallmann’s with the Rotation, who’s back from his mini tour of the US… albeit with an injury. Rotation made a point to call wXw his home, as talk turned to his match with Robert Dreissker today. Rotation’s got a friend with him in Elijah Blum, dubbed the “prospect of the year”, who’s been brought to the Markthalle to sample the atmosphere and potential rewards in his career.

Backstage, Sebastian Suave’s distracting everyone as he’s warming up as Norman Harras is checking his emails. I assume that’s what he’s doing on a company laptop… I’m mightily distracted by Sebastian as Norman talks about Bobby Gunns’ streak in Hamburg, in the context of “things that have gone on too long.” Norman vowed to end the streak, and Sebastian’s apparently learned enough German through an app to know what was being said… but not the messenger that told Norman that his package wasn’t arriving today. Ah, the old “you weren’t home” when you clearly were trick. Sebastian stresses over Norman not having his gear, but he’s calmed down enough to go back to warming up… This was right out of the old Shotguns, and I loved it.

Robert Dreissker vs. The Rotation
It’s coach versus coach of the Academy, and we start with Dreissker backing Rotation into the corner, where he instantly went for the injured foot, ripping off Rotation’s boot. That swine!

Dreissker tries to pull off Rotation’s Spongebob sock (I’d expect nothing less in terms of footwear), eventually doing so as Rotation chopped his way back in… only to throw a kick, which allowed Dreissker to catch and torque on the bad foot. An enziguiri frees Rotation, who flew into the corner for a dropkick, before his springboard back in led to him jarring his foot. A spear sinks the Rotation as he was caught between two minds, and of course, Dreissker goes after the exposed foot with a toe hold. What else? Rotation kicks free, but eats a splash for a two-count, before an attempted comeback quickly ended with Rotation getting lofted into a back body drop. We’re 2 for 2.

Rotation spills outside, so Dreissker followed him as he beats Rotation towards the exits, dropping him foot first on the steps, before turning his sights onto Elijah Blum, chasing the trainee into the ring and giving him a slap. Dreissker rips off the Academy t-shirt, but ends up taking a dropkick from Blum, then a shotgun dropkick, before Dreissker raked Blum’s eyes. Rotation hobbles back to the ring and hits a one-legged crossbody off the top, then a dropkick with the good foot, before the Victory Over Gravity drew a two-count, with Rotation unable to make a proper cover. Dreissker picks up by throwing Rotation into the corner and going back to the foot, quickly getting the stoppage with an ankle lock. Not much of a match, but the story behind it dovetailed brilliantly into things, with the aggressive Dreissker continuing to run roughshod. Up next for him? Jonathan Gresham in Oberhausen. ***

At ringside, Thommy Giesen mentions the card change – with the new main event being a 60-minute iron man match. This led to Tristan Archer coming out to “who are you?” chants… a bit harsh, isn’t it, Hamburg? Archer’s annoyed with the reception he got, then said he was disappointed because no Gresham meant he wasn’t able to prove he was the best wrestler around. Axel Tischer saves things as he tried to speak to Archer in French… but Archer leaves him, saying there were too many stupid people there for him.

Norman Harras & Sebastian Suave vs. Only Friends (Bobby Gunns & Michael Knight)
Holy Bass, Sebastian Suave’s Music… who had an entirely unready Norman Harras as his partner, since he clearly didn’t have his gear. If wrestling wasn’t literally like doing PE in your underwear… this would have been it.

Suave and Knight start us off, but an early blind tag has Gunns in as Norman Harras pulled Suave out of the ring to cause an early break. The Only Friends charge, but get dropped over the ropes, before we got duelling airplane spins from Gunns and Knight… who follow up by setting up Harras to accidentally powerbomb his own man. On the outside, Gunns and Knight continue to clear house, before Knight got kicked by Suave in the ropes. A hanging armbar’s next from the Canadian, as Harras booted Knight down for a two-count. Suave’s in to choke on Knight in the ropes, aided by Harras’ belt as Bobby Gunns was incensed with the referee.

Quick tags keep Knight isolated, but Harras gets distracted by Bobby Gunns and ended up falling for a Sliced Bread. Tags bring in Gunns and Suave, before Harras’ attempt to cut off Gunns earned him a suplex. Corner-to-corner charges keep Gunns ahead, while a back suplex bounced Norman out of the ring. We’ve a rebound German suplex for Suave too, before Knight tagged in and had Suave thrown at him. Knight’s abdominal stretch looked to be followed up on, but Gunns is pulled outside and posted as Suave popped free for an Air Raid Crash for a near-fall on Knight. A diving uppercut/leg sweep combo dropped Knight for another near-fall, before Knight knocked Harras into Suave with a Codebreaker. Not to worry… Harras’ flying uppercut took care of Knight, before Gunns came in to escape Suave’s Air Raid Crash… then hit some double-teams, ending with a Gunns PK for the win. **¾

Post-match, Dan Mallman tries to interview Norman and Sebastian, with Harras clearing out the front row to do so. Norman wants shorter questions as Dan notes he’s not won for a while… Harras gets annoyed by the question of his professionalism (because he wrestled without his usual gear), calling his own gear “business casual,” before announcing that Dan’d be suspended without pay for his questioning. Good to see Norman’s not abusing his powers…

Aigle Blanc vs. Senza Volto
These two are tied at 1-1… so here’s the rubber match, a lot sooner than I was expecting.

Senza tried to win it with a Spanish Fly at the bell, but Aigle kicked out at two… then from a springboard moonsault as he rolled outside for respite… only to get caught with a step-up flip senton. Aigle gets in on the act with an Orihara moonsault to the floor, before a springboard Meteora to the back of the head nearly put Senza away. Things calm down with a handshake… no they don’t! The pair trade right hands before Senza’s chops had Aigle rocked. Aigle quickly returns with a twisting suplex, before he worked on Senza with an armbar that ended in the ropes. Volto returned with some chops, but his springboard’s stopped as Aigle instead lands a back senton across the rope for another near-fall.

A torture rack Finlay Roll has Senza down, but he’s able to catch a springboard crossbody and charged Aigle into the corner for a cannonball. It’s good for a near-fall, as Senza then grounded Aigle with an armbar… then rolled him back down for a kick to the back, while a delayed senton atomico back into the ring kept Aigle on the defensive. Aigle’s back elbow allowed him to go up top for a moonsault, which nearly gets the win, before another trip to the top rope led to Senza grabbing hold of him in the nick of time. Senza took too long to follow up and got shoved down as Aigle ends up leaping over him… before missed enziguiris led to a bicycle knee and a Dragon suplex to Senza.

Another comeback from Senza sees him 619 Aigle off the top rope, before a handspring cutter and a Code Red nearly won it. Senza tries for an Eiffel Tower, but Aigle pushes free, only for Senza to get up into the corner as he seemingly demanded Aigle take a shot at him. Senza fakes out a superkick and slaps Aigle’s back, before we broke into pinning attempts, ending with a big knee strike from Senza, a German suplex off the middle rope from Aigle… then a tombstone as the Royal Hunter almost picked up the win. Senza moves away as Aigle went back up top… but ends up in the corner, and prime target for a Coast to Coast dropkick, before another tombstone earned Aigle a definitive win. This was a heck of a sprint, that had the hot Markthalle buzzing throughout. ***¾

After the match, Senza kicked away a handshake and hugged Aigle Blanc. Dan’s with Aigle Blanc after the match, which he tagged a “show stealer.” Aigle thanks Hamburg, then called Senza the best wrestler in Europe right now… in response, Senza log-rolled across the ring to get to Dan, then called out Rott und Flott for a tag title shot.

A few days after the show, Senza tweeted that he was undergoing surgery – which explains a lot of the timing aspects… best wishes to him for a full recovery.

Vincent Heisenberg vs. Psycho Mike
Mike’s spotted the hard cam early on… that’ll be put to good use.

Mike circles Heisenberg to start, then got shoved into the corner. Wash, rinse, repeat again and again… until Mike manages to switch around in the corner. Heisenberg tries to go for him, but ends up in a side headlock, then shoved off as shoulder tackles barely moved the big man. The endless shoulder tackles are tiring out Mike, but it just lulled Heisenberg into a false sense of security as the big man was caught with a dropkick. Mike calls for a bodyslam, but Heisenberg puts on the brakes, so Mike goes for plan B… which probably wasn’t having his crossbody booted out of mid-air.

An elbow drop from Heisenberg gets him a two-count, while chops bounced Mike around the ring. Mike returns the favour, but Heisenberg just gets annoyed… until Mike kicked Heisenberg’s knee out. He still can’t get the bodyslam off though, as Heisenberg bounced Mike out of the corner with a chop, before Mike found a way through with a big boot. Another crack at the slam… led to Heisenberg falling on top of Mike for a near-fall. A fallaway slam chucks Mike across the ring for a two-count, before he came back with clotheslines, a front kick and a discus boot… as that finally weakened Heisenberg for the slam! The crowd loved that, but not the kick-out… so Mike calls for another slam, only to get taken onto the apron as Heisenberg tried one of his own.

Heisenberg can’t quite get it off, and instead got booted to the floor… where Heisenberg caught a dive and lawndarted him into the ring post. Heisenberg makes sure Mike can’t make it back in time, and there’s your count-out win to keep his streak going. **½

Post-match, Heisenberg pulls Mike back inside and hits a powerslam. That prompted Levaniel to make the save as the two local lads went at it… Heisenberg dumped Levaniel with a clothesline, before Jurn Simmons ran out to save Levaniel from a slam. The pair fight over a suplex, until Jurn lands a spear… prompting the pair to spill outside and brawl to the back, where the cameras followed as Aigle Blanc, Senza Volto and Sebastian Suave helped referees separate them.

Norman Harras is there too – and makes a match for Broken Rules in Oberhausen: Jurn Simmons vs. Vincent Heisenberg, last man standing.

60 Minute Iron Man Match for wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Axel Tischer vs. Tristan Archer (c)
One week earlier in Dresden, Archer retained his title… but with some shenanigans as Rott und Flott helped sidestep the “two referees” stipulation. Now, with little notice, we’ve got an hour to find out who’s the better man. In an ideal situation, there’d have been more than a couple of day’s build for this, but needs must.

As you’d expect, neither man charged out of the blocks here, as Archer backed away from his challenger, before the pair went to ground. Tischer works a wristlock until the Archer backed into the ropes. Archer responds to the crowd’s “auf die Fresse” chants by doing just that (hitting Tischer in the face), but the challenger ends up taking the Frenchman into the corner for some mounted punches in return. A kick from Archer’s caught… Tischer puts it down, just to sucker Archer into an uppercut, before a headlock takedown had us back on the mat. Archer escapes, but is right back in the hold, only to push off and eventually take Tischer down with a shoulder tackle. Tischer’s taken into the corner, as he ends up missing a dropkick, which prompted Archer back in with a back senton, only for a single-leg dropkick from Tischer to turn it back around.

We pass the ten minute mark with Archer boxing Tischer into the corner, then hitting a side suplex out of it for a two-count. A grounded cobra clutch is next, as Tischer fought free… only to run into a bodyslam. Another back senton from Archer’s blocked, allowing Tischer to fight back with uppercuts and a twisting suplex, but Archer kicks out and rolls out of the ring to get himself a breather. Unfortunately, that breather’s quickly ended with a plancha from Tischer, before Archer returned to the ring and hit Tischer with the title belt – in full view of the ref – to cause a DQ at 13:49. It’s the ol’ “I’ll cost myself a fall to put my opponent in a worse position” play… and sure enough, Archer instantly equalises, pinning the still-down Tischer at 14:28.

With Tischer still down, Archer pulls down a knee pad and hit a La Terreur… then an implant DDT to go 2-1 up at 15:49. The system works! Archer throws Tischer outside as he looked to go further ahead with a count-out… but Tischer narrowly beats the count, and ends up in a camel clutch, before his eyes get raked in the corner. An old-school rope rake followed, before a pop-up cutter from Archer put him 3-1 up at 19:55 into the match. Tischer’s still down as we resume, with Archer threatening to run up a cricket score here. He keeps Tischer down with a toe hold as the champion began to work over the legs, before Tischer began to fight back with back-and-forth strikes.

Uppercuts from Tischer chipped away at Archer, as a low dropkick and an enziguiri took him into the corner… and a suplex took Archer out of it. A leaping clothesline off the top rope follows for a near-fall as Tischer tried to reduce the deficit, following up with a German suplex… which he keeps hold of as he rolled those together. Six, in fact, before Archer tried to slip out… before he mule kicked Tischer in the corner, having unsighted the referee. Archer managed to convince Tassilo Jung that Tischer had just gotten a really untimely bout of indigestion or something, only to get rolled up as Tischer pulled it back to 3-2 at 26:40. Tischer manages to hit an X-Plex out of nowhere, but can’t make a cover quickly enough, allowing Archer to kick out at two… the pair exchange right hands as they try to fight back to their feet, but they’re spent… and we’re just about halfway through the hour. Right hands from Tischer have Archer down, as did a front kick and a clothesline, before a Shouten Kai from Tischer equalised things at 3-3 at 30:35.

Archer clubbed away at the back of Tischer’s knees as we resumed, with more strikes and headbutts as they were on their knees. Literally. Back to their feet, they exchange elbows and uppercuts before Archer hit an Olympic slam out of nowhere for a near-fall, before a dropkick and a death valley driver saw Tischer snap back in for a two-count of his own. Heading into the corner, Archer’s peppered with uppercuts and boots, then got lifted to the top rope… but Archer fought away a superplex, then took Tischer to the corner for a neckbreaker over the turnbuckle irons. The crowd chanted for tables as the pair fought into the crowd, with Tischer kicking Archer out of a chair, before he looked under the ring for a table. There wasn’t one, so Archer ends up catching Tischer, throwing him into the side of the ring with a side Russian leg sweep, before he pulled out a ring apron… and threw it right back under the ring. The pair continue to fight through the crowd, as a suplex from Tischer dropped Archer onto a ledge, then with a back suplex onto the side of the ring as the former champion looked to take a lead.

Archer catches Tischer coming back into the ring with a Codebreaker… then pushed him back outside, where Archer followed up with an eye rake. A hanging sleeperhold on the edge of the ring looked to put Tischer out, but Archer dragged them back into the ring as we hit the final 15 minutes… only for Tischer to counter with a backpack jawbreaker. We’re back to the pair fighting from their knees, wheeling away with right hands before a knee strike from Tischer, then a German suplex nearly pushed him into the lead. A double clothesline leaves them both laying. It’s Tischer back up first as he took Archer to the top rope, rolling in for an uppercut before suplexing him off the buckles for a near-fall.

Archer forced his way back in with a half crab, before he switched it into a crossface… Tischer gets to the ropes and returned with a crossface of his own. Archer tries to roll it into a pinning attempt, but Tischer kicked out, returned to the hold, and wrenched it in until the champion got his hand to the rope. Another crack at a superplex from Tischer ends with Archer slipping out for an avalanche Olympic slam that nearly got him back in front. We’re down to the final three minutes, and perhaps facing extra time as both men were spent on the mat… but once again fought back to their feet. Archer teased a Coup d’Etat, but Tischer blocked it. A second one lands, and that’s enough to put Archer back ahead at 58:49. After the rest period, we’re deep into the final minute, as the final thirty seconds see Tischer nearly nick another equaliser with an inside cradle, prompting Archer to cling onto the bottom rope… he’s pulled away as one more roll-up ended with the champion kicking out at the bell. No interference then as Archer retains… but it wasn’t for the want of trying! Iron Man matches are a tough sell at the best of times – telling a crowd that they’ve got a match going an hour before the bell’s even sounded. It’s a different proposition to a match that “naturally” goes long, and there was a definite lull in the crowd’s engagement as we hit the middle portion of the match. ***¼

This was something of a curious show – with the in-ring stuff largely focusing on progressing storylines, this isn’t one you’ll want to watch if your emphasis is throwing star ratings at matches. For everyone else, there’s plenty to sink your teeth here.