Violence is Forever. Shigehiro Irie. Fuminori Abe. And that’s just the opener on what was a wonderful night of the World Tag Team Festival.
Orsi pinned Ava Everett in 7:37 (**¾)
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block B: Fuminori Abe & Shigehiro Irie submitted Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini in 15:07 (****¾)
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block B: Nikita Charisma & Michael Schenkenberg defeated Robert Dreissker & Icarus via count-out in 6:51 (***¼)
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block A: Eric Young & Axel Tischer pinned Maggot in 7:40 (**½)
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block A: Senza Volto & Aigle Blanc pinned Masahiro Takanashi & Chris Brookes in 17:58 (***¾)
Levaniel pinned Dante Caballero in 4:13 (**)
Levaniel pinned Joe Keys in 4:09 (**)
Aliss Ink pinned Baby Allison in 2:48 to win the wXw Women’s Championship (**)
Tristan Archer pinned Mike Bailey in 20:02 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***¾)
— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.com
We’re back inside the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen for a hotly-anticipated night of the World Tag Team Festival… once more, Dave Bradshaw and Mett Dimassi are on the call.
Orsi vs. Ava Everett
Once again, we’ve a warm-up match… and another entry in Ava Everett’s variety of ring gear. Someone’s come to Europe with a huge suitcase…
These two met twice over 16 Carat Gold weekend, with Everett getting a pair of wins in Orsi’s first matches in wXw. Here, we open with Everett getting taken down with a wristlock, before Orsi shoved Ava back from a tie-up. Everett rolls outside and tried to shake off an elbow injury, which drew some unsympathetic “aw”s from the crowd. Back inside, Orsi dumped Ava with a slam, then took her into the corner with a violence party of forearms and chops. Another slam followed, getting Orsi a one-count, before Ava came back out of nowhere with a Flatliner. That took Orsi into the corner, where Ava worked over the arm, while overhand chops left Orsi reeling.
Forearms follow from the former champion Everett, while a neckbreaker nearly ends the match. Boot chokes in the ropes keep Orsi down, while a rear naked choke was thrown off by Orsi. Ava’s back with a head kick for a two-count, then with more boot choking that drew the ire of the referee. Orsi grabs a kick as she had Ava hopping around ahead of a clothesline… then another, before a release German suplex flipped Everett over. The spear’s next for a near-fall, before Everett cradled her way out of a Jackhammer as the match looked to be heading into its final throes. Elbows from Orsi target Ava’s bad arm, and from there Orsi’s able to land the Jackhammer for the win in a pretty decent outing. **¾
We start with a look at the standings going into night two… but there’s a lot of wrestling to be done,
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block B: Fuminori Abe & Shigehiro Irie vs. Violence Is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku)
THIS IS THE OPENER? Bloody hell lads…
We’ve got hugs and kisses from both teams to start, which is going to set the tone. Make love, not war, eh? There’s grappling to start as Abe and Garrini open proceedings, with Abe looking for an armbar out of some bodyscissors from Garrini, eventually freeing himself. It’s back to the mat for Abe, who escaped another predicament with an ankle lock, but Garrini gets to the ropes, then went back for a cross armbar that Abe transitioned out of, as tags eventually brought us to Irie and Ku. A tie-up sees Irie back Ku into the corner, but he just shouts “auf die Fresse,” rather than hit Ku (while Garrini off camera’s asking what on earth it’s all about.) Ku snapmared Irie in for a crucifix as he looked to snatch a win with pinning attempts, then with a ‘rana… a second one’s avoided as Irie returned with a sit-out splash for a two-count.
Abe’s back as he and Ku trade snapmares and punts to the back, before they stopped to boot their opponents off the apron. It led to a full ring… which quickly empties as I get an Abe on my lap. Garrini puts Abe in a chair as we get the laps of honour kicks… but they go to the well once too often as right hands from Irie and Abe led to teased turnaround, but front kicks from Garrini stopped all that. Returning to the ring, Ku ties up Abe’s legs for a gift-wrapped bow-and-arrow hold, taking Abe to the mat for a two-count before Garrini tagged in for some more kicks and chops. That fires up Abe, and the crowd, but Abe can’t avoid the chops as he’s hung over the ropes for a Ku kneedrop that drew a near-fall. Abe hits a dropkick to buy himself some time, as we get to Garrini and Irie… with the latter hitting a Samoan drop.
Garrini’s sent onto the apron… then onto his backside as Irie’s diving crossbody through the ropes sent Garrini into the crowd. We’re quickly back inside as Irie headed up top for a big splash, which landed for a near-fall. All four end up in the ring again as a Total Elimination nearly put Abe away, before he avoided Chasing the Dragon and whaled Ku with the Irabu punch. Ku staggered to the mat as Garrini and Abe went all bati-bati on us, leading to Garrini countering another Irabu punch into a triangle armbar. Irie makes the save though, hitting a Fire Thunder Driver onto Garrini to break it up. Bloody hell, Irie… that’s the last thing I expected!
We’re left with Ku and Abe, trading palm strikes and elbows until Garrini and Irie joined in. Abe and Irie trade partners for the fun of it, but we’re back to Ku and Abe, which led to the moment that you’ve probably seen the aftermath of in photos. Heck, it was enough to make referee Felix Schultz cover his eyes in horror. THE HEADBUTT. THE NOISE. A roundhouse kick from Ku takes Abe down, but Ku’s come up all red, and is quickly tied up in a manjigatame that Garrini breaks up with a knee. Chasing the Dragon took care of Abe, but Irie breaks up the pin, then took Garrini back outside as a bloody Ku got baited into the ropes for a cannonball from Irie. An Irabu punch from Abe, a Beast Bomber from Irie, then a manjigatame from Abe folded Ku to the mat for the submission as the Turbinenhalle rose to its feet. Yep, this every bit as thrilling on tape as it was live, and one that you all need to go out of your way to see. Especially you. And you… ****¾
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block B: AMBOSS (Icarus & Robert Dreissker) vs. Rott Und Flott (Michael Schenkenberg & Nikita Charisma)
So… how do you follow that? By blasting everyone’s ears with the AMBOSS music…
Rott und Flott gained the support of the crowd by simply not being AMBOSS, and perhaps with a tinge of sympathy in the knowledge that a loss would mean they lose the tag titles here. Charisma and Dreissker start us off, with Dreissker stomping a mud hole in the tag champion while Icarus wedged Charisma’s hand into the turnbuckle pad. That tripped Charisma for a while as he’s left defenceless, until Tassilo Jung got between AMBOSS and Charisma so he could get him free. Icarus tries a springboard enziguiri to knock Schenkenberg off the apron, but it misses as Schenkenberg instead pulled Icarus outside. Back in the ring, Charisma scored a low dropkick, then a springboard dropkick to clear AMBOSS, while some chicanery allowed Charisma to land a few more of those and allow him to live up to the nickname on his trunks.
Dreissker tried to shut it down, but eats a dropkick-aided side suplex, while an attempt at the Snapchat went awry as Charisma was soaking in the crowd’s love. Instead, Icarus just got flapjacked as the champions argued a little… and almost led to Icarus winning with a roll-up. AMBOSS took over with a back suplex/neckbreaker combo on Charisma, while Schenkenberg ate a senton bomb and a Dreissker bomb as the AMBOSS bombs almost won a second group match. Schenkenberg tries to fight off the numerical disadvantage, but took a back body drop as Charisma took a blind tag in the corner. Icarus connected with a gamengiri before Charisma could do anything, then an apron piledriver (complete with an ugly-looking landing) as Charisma then had his wrists taped around the ring post.
Schenkenberg tried to make the save, but it’s now pretty much a handicap match as he’s posted… then speared into the crowd by Dreissker AND Icarus, who seemed to lose track of the count. Just as it looked like a double count-out was on the cards, Charisma came to and shuffled into the ring, beating the count-out just in the nick of time, as Rott und Flott won by the skin of their teeth! The crowd loved that, as Rott und Flott out-cheated the cheaters in a delicious slice of irony. ***¼
Of course, Charisma’s still tied to the post as some of the crowd were singing their music, and took a gut shot from Dreissker as AMBOSS were still seething.
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block A: Sanity (Axel Tischer & Eric Young) vs. Maggot
Maggot was having to go it alone as Ahura had to bail on this “due to his brother’s wedding,” so it’s really Sanity up against a pretty bastard.
Tischer attacks Maggot before the bell, but the early attack’s stopped via a Thesz press and a strutting kick that Tischer tried to scream off. Of course, the Oberhausen crowd’s massively behind Maggot as he punched and bit on Tischer in the corner, but Tischer got free as Eric Young tagged into play. A right hand from Young keeps Maggot in the corner, as did some mudhole stomping, before a back elbow cut off Maggot’s dreams of a comeback. Going for the beard, Maggot got free, but he’s quickly booted away… so he bites Tischer’s arm ahead of a roll-up for a two-count.
Tischer’s big boot drops Maggot as Young returned to hit a snapmare and a neck crank… but Maggot manages to get free with a back body drop to Young, then an enziguiri before Tischer grabbed him in the corner. Young plays to the crowd for too long and ends up hitting Tischer with a right hand, before a Maggot cutter almost got the upset… but Tischer breaks up the pin. A double-team back suplex/flying neckbreaker off the top has Maggot down, but Young pulls up the pin at two, before he finally got the win with a piledriver. Pretty much what you expected from a handicap match, but Maggot got a lot of hope in there before being overwhelmed at the end. **½
After the match, Maggot gets a standing ovation as Dan Mallmann’s on hand for another interview. Maggot wanted a cigarette after all that, and got one from the crowd as Baby Allison came out to try and smooth things over. Of course, they weren’t about to talk about Ahura, and the pair headed to the back, with a lot of questions to be asked about night three…
World Tag Team Festival 2022 Block A: Frenchadors (Aigle Blanc & Senza Volto) vs. Calamari Drunken Kings (Chris Brookes & Masahiro Takanashi)
A loss for the Frenchadors would eliminate them as the rest of the field looked finely poised…
Aigle Blanc and Masahiro Takanashi start us off, trading standing switches and wristlocks which Aigle rolled out of. Tags bring us to Chris Brookes and Senza Volto, who go back to wristlocks as Brookes pulled ahead. Headscissors force Senza into an escape, as he thumbed his nose at Brookes… who backed away and kicked the bottom turnbuckle in frustration. Resuming, a shoulder block dumps Senza, who returned with a chop and a springboard into some rope-walking… which Takanashi threatened to ruin with some rope shaking. Senza just bounced to the middle rope and hit the springboard armdrag anyway, then thumbed his nose at Takanashi before he sent Brookes into his own man. Aigle’s back as Brookes is pinged around in the wrong corner, leading to a senton atomico from Volto for a two-count.
Forearms from Aigle had Brookes in the ropes, but Takanashi is in to help set up a wacky Octopus hold and armbar as Senza and Aigle tied each other up. Brookes’ chop gets a two-count on Aigle, before a low bridge took Aigle outside for a dropkick through the ropes. They follow that up as they roll Senza Volto in the ring apron, then into the front row like a human burrito, which left Aigle Blanc on his lonesome. At least until Senza unravelled himself by rolling across the front row…
Brookes tagged back in as Aigle’s been isolated, but the double-teaming from CDK backfires as a double Dragon screw spun them down. Senza gets the tag in and runs wild with clotheslines on Takanashi, while a handspring back elbow drew a near-fall. Senza evades CDK but gets tripped by Takanashi on the floor as a stomp from Brookes earned a two-count for Masa. Senza and Brookes trade chops, then kicks before Brookes kneed away a Code Red attempt… only to get caught with a handprint cutter. Brookes gets lifted onto the apron by Aigle, who finds a way through with a ‘rana driver through the ropes, before a half-and-half suplex earned Aigle a near-fall. A trip up top from Aigle sees him go for a 450 splash, but it’s rolled through as Brookes crashed into him with a corner dropkick to spark another exchange, ending with a Taka-tonic from Takanashi being stopped by Aigle.
Another trip up top sees Brookes catch Aigle with a butterfly superplex… Takanashi goes for Aigle’s eyes, then scored with some roll-ups for two-counts. A dropkick takes Takanashi outside… and unfortunately for the front row, in prime location for another seat-shattering set of topes con giro. The French lads really hated those seats that weekend… Takanashi’s rolled back inside as he ends up sitting down on Senza’s Code Red, but see-saw sunset flips end with a Blanc Meteora… Brookes’ stomp breaks up that cover, but Takanashi’s still down as Brookes needed to pull out the referee to keep the match alive after a 450 splash from Aigle. A low blow from Takanashi looked to set up for a belt shot, but Tassilo Jung caught Masa in the act…
Except Chris Brookes sneaks back into the ring and shoved Tassilo belt-first into Aigle Blanc, which nearly led to the win, but Aigle’s able to kick out from what would have been an embarrassing loss. We’re into the final minutes here as Aigle manages to break free of CDK, then hit a tombstone to Takanashi while Senza Volto’s springboard moonsault makes sure of the win after a fantastic outing that teased going the limit. Everyone’s 1-1 across the tournament, so night three will have us pondering permutations… ***¾
Norman Harras comes out with his music on loop as he’s wheeled and assisted to the ring…
Dante Caballero vs. Levaniel
This was made earlier in the day at the We Love Wrestling 36 event, with Norman Harras decreeing that Levaniel need to beat Dante Caballero and Joe Keys to keep his title shot. Given we already had a handicap match, this instead ended up being a gauntlet.
With the opening lock-up, the pair head into the corners before Caballero grabbed Levaniel by the hair. Escaping, a side headlock from Levaniel is pushed off as he’s dropped with a shoulder tackle, but armdrags get him back in it, only for Caballero to charge Levaniel into the corner again. Caballero lifts Levaniel onto the apron, but a springboard armdrag and a butterfly suplex puts Levaniel back in it… but Joe Keys pops up on the apron to distract. A waistlock from Levaniel ends with him getting charged into the ropes, as a diving kick from Caballero nearly wins it.
Out of nowhere, a spinning heel kick from Levaniel cuts off Caballero, as did a backbreaker and a discus lariat, before a Galactic Facecrusher was blocked. Caballero heads to the corner, but Levaniel launches over him and won with a roll-up in a hair over four minutes. **
Joe Keys vs. Levaniel
Keys doesn’t rush in as he gets his own introductions… and gave Caballero a chance to attack Levaniel from behind before the bell.
A side suplex has Levaniel in the corner at the bell, allowing Keys to charge in at the bell and lay waste to Levaniel with punches and uppercuts. Keys’ powerbomb leaves Levaniel laying for a two-count, before a lifting front-chancery into a DDT planted Levaniel for another near-fall. Keys tries to use a necklace to punch Levaniel with, but the referee stopped him as Keys instead set up for a superplex. It lands in the middle of the ring, but Levaniel kicks out at one, as Keys then rammed Levaniel’s head into the mat. Rolling outside, Keys removes his belt and wrapped it around his fist… then grabbed one of Norman Harras’ crutches for a distraction.
The referee takes the crutch, but misses the belt. Levaniel doesn’t, and grabbed it off of Keys… but the referee turned around as Levaniel threatened to use it. Of course, it’s confiscated as Caballero threw Keys his own belt, which is used to lay out Levaniel for a near-fall. Out of nowhere though, Levaniel surprises Keys with the Galactic Facecrusher, and that’s the win! **
Caballero’s in for another Galactic Facecrusher after the bell, but Levaniel’s celebrations were cut-off by Norman Harras as he prepared a third wave for Levaniel. Heisenberg’s music hit, but there’s no big man from Hamburg… instead, we get footage backstage of loud noises, and Heisenberg (and two crew members) being left laying by Jurn Simmons and presumably a Kendo stick shot. Norman can’t think on his feet quickly enough, as Levaniel stormed out of the ring and declared that there’s no more roadblocks… before shoving Harras backwards out of his wheelchair.
wXw Women’s Championship: Aliss Ink vs. Baby Allison (c)
Ink won the Femmes Fatales tournament the prior day to get this title shot… and with Baby Allison distracted by the goings on with Maggot earlier on, her head didn’t seem to be in the right place here.
Ink swung for her head kick early on – dubbed the Dragon’s Tail – as she opted to use a boot choke in the corner. An Irish whip took Allison across the ring ahead of a roll-through into a Kimura, but Allison got a foot to the rope to force a break. Allison kicks away a clothesline, then hit a German suplex, only to get caught with an axe kick as Ink looked to get back in it. A spear and a Scorpion kick tapped Ink in the corner though, while a Northern Lights suplex almost made light work of Ink… Allison misses a charge into the corner, allowing Ink back in with the Dragon’s Tail kick, and that’s enough to crown a new champion as Ink’s weekend ended with quite the success. **
Earlier today, Daan Jökisch catches Metehan as he was leaving the building… and wanted to know what was meant when Metehan said that the win over Axel Tischer was just the “first score settled.” Metehan tells off Daan, then tells us he’s here to collect some receipts, but wouldn’t say much more… before Bobby Gunns walked up to him, and reminisced over the business the two of them were going to do before Metehan left. Remember Shotgun 2020? I do…
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Mike Bailey vs. Tristan Archer (c)
Speedball’s win over Bobby Gunns the prior night got him this spot… but with Bailey’s knee not 100%, there’s a clear target for Tristan Archer coming in.
The duelling chants of the prior night didn’t exist here, with the Oberhausen crowd being pro-Speedball. Archer accepts a handshake, but pointed at Bailey’s knee, which he tried to injure by jerking him forward in the handshake. Archer baits Bailey into a leapfrog, which did some damage, before Bailey’s kick was caught and swatted away as Archer elbowed at both knees. Bailey lures Archer in for an inside cradle, but the instinct to throw kicks led to one getting caught and elbowed again. Speedball goes for and lands a crane kick to take Archer outside, before he’s dragged outside as the pair brawled around ringside, ending with Archer getting posted and kicked as Bailey ran back inside.
A running kick knocks Archer off the apron for a triangle moonsault from the challenger, before kicks and chops had Archer on the ropes. Archer lifts Bailey onto the apron, then met him in the ropes with a knee strike, then a single knee Codebreaker as the pair headed back outside… with a side Russian legsweep throwing Bailey into the side of the ring. Archer nonchalantly rolls Speedball back inside, following in with a boot into the corner for a quick cover, while repeated backbreakers ended with an inside-out slam for a near-fall. Bailey tries a backflip, but that jars his knee some more… before he shrugged it off to hit a head kick to take down Archer. A running corkscrew press followed as Bailey drew a near-fall, before chops took Archer into the corner.
Bailey’s forced to elbow out of an Exploder attempt, but Archer’s able to fling him overhead anyways, before Bailey’s wheelbarrow roll allowed him to snap his way into a Trailer Hitch on Archer. The ropes save Archer’s bacon, as he returned quickly with a standing uranage for a near-fall, then a back senton for a near-fall, before another one off the middle rope came up short. Speedball heads up top to capitalise, but he’s caught and brought down with an avalanche Olympic slam. We resume with the pair trading chops for fun, while more head kicks from Bailey took Archer into the corner. A spinning kick’s caught though, with Archer taking Bailey onto the apron, then dropkicking him off it, ahead of a tope into the aisle.
La Terreur’s countered into a ‘rana by Bailey as they see-saw’d into near-falls… while a PK and the moonsault knees helped the challenger on his way to a near-fall. Archer fights out of a Flamingo Driver, then pulled Bailey up for a hanging choke. Speedball’s dropped to the mat, but gets joined on the apron as Archer teased an apron German suplex… then one to the floor… but Bailey fights out and ends up just about moonsaulting onto Archer anyways. Back inside, Bailey’s caught on the top rope as Archer again teased an apron German… but has his legs swept for some more moonsault knees. The Ultima Weapon’s next, but Archer kicks it away in mid-air, then hit La Terreur for a near-fall. Archer hits the ropes for a wild lariat, and from there it’s elementary… but a Coup d’Etat’s cradled out of. Bailey gets a near-fall from that as he followed up with more kicks into the corner, setting up for Ultima Weapon again as he crashed into Archer… but it’s still not enough.
A Flamingo Driver looks to follow, but Archer slipped out and had his Coup d’Etat countered yet again. Out of nowhere, a pair of lariats spin Bailey to the mat, and this time the Coup d’Etat proved to be enough for the win as Archer managed to get by his toughest challenge to date. A question of “what if?” for Bailey, whose bad knee caused problems throughout… ***¾
Starting off stupidly hot with the Irie/Abe vs. VIF tag match, night two of World Tag Team Festival couldn’t quite hold that level throughout – but the middle night of the weekender kept everything interesting as far as the tournament went, and built existing storylines further in the second half of the show.