It’s champion versus champion in our main event as Laurance Roman and Shigehiro Irie clashed in Papenburg.
Kohei Kinoshita pinned Anil Marik in 7:31 (**¾)
Nick Schreier pinned Jacob Crane in 9:21 (***)
Calypso & Tristan Archer pinned Maggot & Baby Allison in 10:52 (**¾)
Elijah Blum & LSG vs. Bobby Gunns & Michael Knight ended as a no-contest in 10:16 (**¾)
Peter Tihanyi pinned Aigle Blanc 15:22 (***¾)
Icarus submitted Danny Fray in 6:22 (**¾)
Jurn Simmons & Levaniel pinned Zafar Ameen & Norman Harras in 10:49 (***)
Laurance Roman pinned Shigehiro Irie in 13:33 (***½)
— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.de
We’re coming from the Alte Kesselschmiede in Papenburg here, a city within spitting distance of the Dutch border. It’s that lovely warehouse-ish venue with the huge glass windows that they ran last year. But first… pre-show!
Anil Marik vs. Kohei Kinoshita
This was Kinoshita’s second match of his European tour, having lost to Tristan Archer the prior night in Hamburg.
We open with a handshake, then a side headlock as Kinoshita keeps Marik at close quarters. A headlock takeover has Marik on the deck, but Anil’s able to hit back with a dropkick to take Kinoshita into the corner… while a Slingblade picks up a two-count.
Duelling armdrags keep Marik ahead, before Kinoshita hit the ropes and crashed into Anil with a dropkick. A sunset flip takes Marik down, as did an enziguiri, leading to a very delayed cover for a couple of two-counts. Staying ahead, Kinoshita scores with a leaping kick, then with a neckbreaker before a Cobra twist looked to force a stoppage. Marik hiptosses his way out of the hold though, before he mounted a comeback with forearms and clotheslines, then with a back suplex for good measure. A running forearm into the corner, then a bulldog out of it gets Marik close to the win, before Kinoshita blocked a lungblower… then hit a superkick and a bridging fallway slam for a near-fall.
Kinoshita tries for a German suplex from there, but instead lands a Paul London-esque dropsault dropkick, then one to the back, before the STB suplex – a bridging German suplex – got the win. Marik cannot buy a win right now, despite coming close here, it’s Kinoshita who leaves Papenburg with the W. **¾
Dave Bradshaw’s running on English commentary, sadly not from inside the venue as it looked like Mett Dimassi had a ball on German commentary.
Jacob Crane vs. Nick Schreier
It’s a rematch from the pre-show in Hamburg, and Nick’s changed his gear…
Schreier works the arm of Crane early on, before scoring a leapfrog, a dropkick then an armdrag as Schreier was looking to keep Crane down. A pop-up dropkick takes Crane outside, before he managed to hang up Schreier in the ropes to turn it around. Kicks and stomps lead to a suplex for a two-count, before Schreier fought back with a sunset flip out of the corner. Crane’s kick puts him back ahead, while a backbreaker looked to have the Pole home and dry… but Schreier kicks out from a lariat and kept on fighting. An enziguiri just about had enough on it to take down Crane, as did a Slingblade facebuster. Nick nearly wins with a crossbody off the top, before a sunset flip was sat down on by Crane… who grabbed the rope to try and steal one.
The ref spots it and stops the count, but a Falcon arrow from Crane keeps him ahead, before Schreier escaped a back suplex and ran in with… a Destino? Nick’s been watching his New Japan, and that was enough to get him a win as he got one back on Crane from the prior night. ***
Earlier today, Dan Mallmann was with Maggot and Baby Allison… Dan, as tactful as ever, brings up how neither of them have titles anymore. They’re not taking it well, with Allison in particular not looking too happy with the lay of the land.
Calypso & Tristan Archer vs. Baby Allison & Maggot
It’s a little odd seeing Archer in this spot. He didn’t even wear one of Calypso’s faces for crying out loud!
Archer grounds Maggot early on, but the side headlock’s pushed off… only for Archer to charge Maggot down. Going to the nose, Maggot manages to get into the match, only for Archer to knock his lights out. Calypso tags in, but is instantly caught with a Thesz press and punches for a two-count, before Baby Allison came in to try her luck. Allison hits a Thesz press as well, then a spear for a near-fall, before Archer pulled Calypso out of the corner – right as Allison was charging her way. Maggot protests, so Archer chokes Allison in the ropes as the ref’s distracted. A sidewalk slam from Archer’s good for a two-count, as he then rolled Allison into a Sharpshooter.
The one-way traffic remains, with Calypso hitting the Three Amigos, ending with a Fisherman suplex for a near-fall as Allison was finding herself isolated. A satellite DDT from Allison gets her some breathing space, leading to a hot tag to Maggot, who bounced Archer around… landing a spear in the process. Calypso tag in just gets her a back body drop, then an enziguiri, before a diving boot almost won it for Maggot. Archer breaks up the pin as he wipes out Maggot with La Terreur, then a lariat as a Parade of Moves broke out… featuring a Scorpion kick to Archer, a Calypso superkick to Allison, before she nearly beat Maggot with a roll-up.
Maggot manages to return with a cutter, but Baby Allison demands he put more of a hurting on Calypso so she could get the win. Archer attacks Maggot from behind, then chased away Allison as Calypso was put on top for the straight-forward win – and there’s trouble in paradise among Maggot and Allison it seems. **¾
Elijah Blum & LSG vs. Only Friends (Bobby Gunns & Michael Knight)
LSG’s tagging with Blum here as he’s the defacto Academy representative after the Rotation got injured… and we’re back to the longer Only Friends theme. We’re told during the entrances that Only Friends will be getting a tag title shot at FAN…
Blum and Knight start us off, going hold for hold before Knight blocked an O’Connor roll attempt… only to see a snapmare in return get floated out of by Blum, who hits a dropkick instead. LSG is in, but gets tripped by Knight ahead of a stomp from Gunns, before he manages to take down Gunns off the ropes. LSG tags out to Blum… who’s kicked away as Gunns instead threw Blum onto the apron ahead of a springboard dropkick from Knight. Gunns adds an apron PK to LSG, while Knight’s tope took them both out… and the front row too. That would have been fun, falling off those ringside benches!
Back inside a Trailer Hitch from Knight restrains Blum, who’s pulled into a camel clutch at the same time as the Only Friends continued to batter Blum. A wacky double-team pin’s counted by the referee anyway, with LSG breaking it up, before Blum manages to evade the double-teaming, scoring a neckbreaker to Knight. LSG’s back in to clear house, scoring with various atomic drops before a crossbody took down Gunns and Knight for a two-count. We’re getting some very dubious interpretations of tag team rules here! Gunns manages to stop some double-teaming from Blum and LSG, as things switch around to Blum eating a double-team pop-up kick, then a clothesline-aided German suplex for a near-fall.
All four men stay in the ring, trading blows until AMBOSS wander out and put a beating to them all. We’ve got a no contest, and I can only assume they were as fed up with the tag rules being treated as loose as they were. Thommy Giesen’s attempt at scalding them was of course ignored… **¾
Earlier today, Dan’s with Peter Tihanyi, who’s looking forward to his match with Aigle Blanc – a rematch from 16 Carat Gold last year. Dan brings up the postponed best-of-five series with Axel Tischer, and how he’s come up short so far… just like Peter did against Shigehiro Irie in Hamburg. Dan almost has a sing-song vibe when he brings up that Peter beat Aigle Blanc last year, almost like it’s a way to snap a run.
Aigle Blanc vs. Peter Tihanyi
We’ve a pacey start as headlock takedowns and escapes define the opening minute, as did pinning attempts before we hit the double dropkick stand-off.
A shoulder tackle from Aigle actually drew some boos as the pair remained incredibly even… until a Tihanyi dropkick left the Frenchman laying. In the corners, Tihanyi lights up Blanc with chops, but Aigle’s able to evade, and drag him to the outside with some bodyscissors ahead of an Orihara moonsault that saw Aigle stick the landing… and land sitting in the front row! Throwing Tihanyi into the side of the ring, Aigle stays on the front foot, scoring a springboard body press back inside for a two-count. A snapmare and a diving kick keeps Aigle ahead, as he proceeded to stretch Tihanyi with an armbar, before the pair decided to take to the ropes… but duelling crossbodies ended badly for both of them.
Back on their feet, Tihanyi scores with a swinging DDT off the ropes for a near-fall, only for Aigle to return with a ripcord enziguiri and a Sharpshooter… with the arms tied up too. He’s gotta one-up Tristan Archer frome earlier, clearly! Rolling free, Tihanyi gets a two-count from a cradle, only to get caught between the ropes for a ‘rana driver and a springboard Meteora from Aigle. Heading onto the apron, Aigle threatens to close the door on Tihanyi, but Tihanyi avoids a suplex onto the apron… then saw a slingshot cutter blocked as Aigle eventually hit a Dragon suplex. A knee strike downs Tihanyi for a two-count, but he’s back with a superkick to knock Aigle outside for a swift tope into the front row… before a slingshot cutter nearly got the win. Another trip up top’s cut off by Aigle as the sun was beginning to set… a twisting neckbreaker lands before Aigle had to change plans, going Coast to Coast as Tihanyi rolled away from a 450 splash.
Aigle misses a 450 splash though, before Tihanyi lands his own… and that’s all as Tihanyi snaps his poor recent form. This was a bit of an understated cracker, almost on the same level as that Carat match – and one you should definitely check out. ***¾
Icarus vs. Danny Fray
Oh dear Danny…
Icarus is a little annoyed at the “auf die Fresse” chants, but got shoved down by Fray, who got battered in response. Shoulder tackles cut off the Hungarian though, as a sidewalk slam almost got an upset… Icarus takes Fray into the corner and begins to work over the leg, dropkicking it in the ropes as this was looking like a comfortable evening’s work for Icarus after that early scare. Fray pushes Icarus away, then landed a clothesline in return… but his knee’s hurting from earlier, and ends up hobbling out of the corner unable to do anything else.
Fray’s taken back down via a kick to the bad knee, before a GODDAMN DISCUS CLOTHESLINE laid him out. Bloody hell Icarus, did he owe you money?! Clotheslines in return from Fray gave him some hope as the lights went out… ahead of a take on a Black Hole Slam. Apt, given that brief moment of darkness. Icarus rolls outside to avoid getting pinned, returning after he caught Fray’s leg in the rope… another clothesline and a Meltdown senton almost gets the win, before Icarus kicked Fray’s leg out of his leg… leading to a grounded ankle lock for the submission. This was everything this needed to be – with Icarus looking like a killer ahead of his team’s title defence next week. **¾
Norman Harras & Zafar Ameen vs. Jurn Simmons & Levaniel
This was set up in Hamburg the day before, when Jurn saved Levaniel from a beating…
Ameen’s beaten from pillar to post before the bell as we have a pre-match scrap that led to a double-team back body drop on Jurn Simmons. Norman Harras powders so Zafar Ameen can start by trying to snatch a pin, but Jurn overpowers him, dumping Ameen in the corner with a Snake Eyes that led to some mounted punches. Levaniel’s in to land an elbow drop on Ameen, before Norman Harras tagged in and got slammed. Norman uses the hair to escape a Galactic Facecrusher, before Ameen tagged in… allowing Harras to threaten using a belt, distracting the referee as he went. A poke to the eye from Ameen angers Jurn, who created another distraction as Levaniel got choked with a belt in the corner, leading to a two-count.
A clothesline from Ameen drops Levaniel as the double-teaming continued, with a Harras abdominal stretch featuring some cheating from Ameen… and with Tassilo Jung referring this, this leads to my favourite spot in wrestling – the ref spotting it and kicking it apart! A nice bicycle kick, this time…
Mounted punches from Harras keeps Levaniel down though, as the rapid tags wore down the former champion. Levaniel escapes a suplex, scoring a backbreaker to Harras as he went, then a discus clothesline to Ameen, before a tag to Simmons was stopped by Ameen pulling Jurn off the apron. Running knees from Ameen trap Levaniel in the corner as a Mirage kick-assisted sidewalk slam nearly got Norman the win… a low bridge takes Ameen outside, before Levaniel’s suplex finally got him enough time to tag in Simmons. Jurn runs wild as he bounced Ameen and Harras with clotheslines, following up with a suplex throw to send Ameen across the ring.
An reverse bodyslam dumps Ameen next, before Harras came in to try and whip Jurn with a belt. Levaniel grabs it, then hit the Galactic Facecrusher to Harras before Ameen tried his luck with a roll-up. It’s only good for a two-count though, as Jurn’s Massive Boot and a piledriver ends up getting the win as Jurn looked ready for the fans-are-lumberjacks-with-straps match next week. ***
Laurance Roman vs. Shigehiro Irie
It’s a non-title main event, as we’re not too far off the old Champions Challenges that wXw used to do a lot back in the day.
After they yay/booed with the belts, we got going with Irie backing up Roman into the corner for a clean break. A shoulder tackle sends Roman outside, as Irie ends up staying on offence after Roman returned… bouncing the Shotgun champion into the corners as Irie made damn sure to give the crowd what they wanted from those “auf die Fresse” chants. A slam leaves Roman down for a slingshot splash, before a snapmare and a leaping Kokeshi-like headbutt got Irie a two-count. Roman goes to the eyes to escape a Samoan drop, but Irie recovers with a headbutt… only for Roman to sidestep a charge and put the boots to the Carat winner.
Right hands from Irie have Roman in the ropes, before Roman’s missed dropkick set up for the Teddy Bear splash… Irie misses it though, as Roman moved out of the way in the nick of time. Dreissker gets his kicks in as Roman had the referee distracted, before Irie rolled back into some stomps from Roman as the Shotgun champion was in the driver’s seat. Irie counters a Burning Nail with a back body drop, following with a Teddy Bear splash for a near-fall, before a sidewalk slam got Irie a little closer… Roman avoids a Beast Bomber, but gets caught by the ropes as the cannonball to the back left Roman down once again. Another Beast Bomber’s avoided as Roman hit back with a cradled Fisherman suplex for a near-fall, with Roman following up with some clubbing blows to the back.
Another crack at the Burning Nail is lifted away by Irie, who finally lands that Beast Bomber… only for Robert Dreissker to put Roman’s foot on the rope to stop the count. Irie’s incensed and goes after Dreissker, before he laid back into Roman with elbows… then took him up top. A superplex looks to follow, but Roman slips out and tries for a powerbomb out of the corner, but mounted punches break it up. Roman distracts the referee on the landing, allowing Dreissker to crack Irie with the facemask… the powerbomb out of the corner follows, and holy hell, that’s the win for Roman! The Shotgun champion prevails by hook or by crook here, following a decent main event that eventually set up for Laurance Roman to get added to the title match at FAN this weekend. ***½
Come for the unique location, and stay for that Tihanyi/Aigle match as wXw continued their busy May with a pretty solid show in Papenburg.