The World Tag Team Festival wrapped up as the final three teams engaged in an elimination final to take away the wXw tag titles.
Mance Warner pinned Alex Duke in 4:24 (**½)
Peter Tihanyi pinned Arez in 11:00 (***½)
Francesco Akira pinned Elijah Blum in 11:44 (***¼)
Maggot defeated Icarus via disqualification in 7:21 (**¾)
Aigle Blanc & Mike D Vecchio pinned Fuminori Abe & Takuya Nomura in 13:57 (***½)
1 Called Manders pinned Axel Tischer in 16:26 (***½)
Joseph Fenech Jr. submitted Latigo in 10:24 (***)
Ava Everett pinned Nicole Matthews to retain the wXw Women’s World Championship in 11:32 (***¼)
World Tag Team Festival 2023 Final: Dennis Dullnig & Hektor Invictus pinned Robert Dreissker & Laurance Roman and Shigehiro Irie & Mizuki Watase to win the wXw World Tag Team Championship in 23:27 (***¾)
— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.de
We’re back inside the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen for one final show from the weekend… but first, a pre-show match!
Alex Duke vs. Mance Warner
Duke attacks Warner before the bell, but Mance is able to turn it around, taking Duke outside with a big boot.
Warner threatens to dive outside, but instead he just chops Duke in the back, then in the chest, before mounting the front row for some punches. Back inside, Duke reaches over the referee to rake Warner’s eyes, following up with a suplex moments later for a two-count.
Knees to the back keep Warner down, before a trip up top saw Duke leap into a punch to the gut. Warner makes a comeback from there with clotheslines and Dusty punches, leading to a Bionic elbow before Duke sidestepped a knee strike. A bicycle knee dropped Warner for a near-fall, before Warner took home the win with an eye poke and a DDT. **½
Dave Prazak and Robin Christopher Fohrwerk are on English commentary to wrap up this weekend…
Peter Tihanyi vs. Arez
With the main event being the tournament final, we’ve got some wacky matches on the undercard… this one was wacky from the off, as Arez was getting cheered over Peter Tihanyi, despite Tihanyi winning that best-of-five series the prior night!
Tihanyi tried to outwit Arez early on with a roll-up pin, but Arez kicked out… and got rolled up once more as the pair looked to end this one inside minutes. Armdrags led us to double dropkicks… and a stand-off!
Back-and-forth chants break as Tihanyi’s leaping uppercut drew just a one-count, before Arez offered himself up for chops in the corner. A front flip from Arez led to a Pele to Tihanyi, leading to a flurry of offence that culminated in a one-step rebound moonsault off the top rope.
Arez returns the favour on the chops from earlier, ahead of a Falcon arrow for a near-fall as we go back to the strikes… leading to superkicks back-and-forth, before duelling springboards saw the pair crash into each other. Resuming, Tihanyi found a second wind, nailing a swinging DDT for a near-fall, before Arez returned with chinbreakers and an attempted double stomp.
Tihanyi damn near murders Arez with a knee strike as Arez was doing his floaty kip-up, following in with a neckbreaker for a near-fall. A leapfrog from Tihanyi’s caught as Arez went all Lykos… this time landing the brainbuster before he crushed Tihanyi with the double stomp for another near-fall.
Heading back outside, Arez hits the one-footed springboard moonsault, this time in an Asai flavour. A superkick sends Arez back outside as Tihanyi rushed in with a flip dive… following with a slingshot cutter back inside for the win. ***½
Elijah Blum vs. Francesco Akira
This was Akira’s only match of the weekend – and it’s a big test for Elijah Blum.
Opening with a handshake, Blum backs Akira into the ropes from a lock-up, before Akira Gator rolled his way in for an armbar. A switcharound sees Blum grab a side headlock, before headlock takedowns and escapes led us to a stand-off.
Akira comes back with a chop as Blum tried to avoid an Irish whip… he recovers with a side Russian legsweep and a dropkick to take Akira outside. Akira pulls down a springboard attempt before he shooed the crowd out of his way… a whip into the wall’s reversed, but Akira stops himself, then leaps up to the wall so he could dive onto Blum.
A neckbreaker forces a two-count out of Blum, as he’s then chopped into the corner… another trip up from Akira led to a Drive By dropkick on the apron, while a chop back inside led to a crossbody out of nowhere from Blum. Elijah adds a plancha to the mix, wiping out Akira on the floor, before a froggy crossbody back inside almost put Akira away.
Blum adds a shotgun dropkick to take Akira to the corner ahead of the sit-out 2K1 Bomb for a near-fall, before Akira dead-weighted himself to avoid a Parting Gift. Instead, we get a wheelbarrow stomp out of Akira, then a clothesline into the corner as a springboard moonsault added a near-fall for the Italian.
An enziguiri from Akira takes Blum to the ropes, before he dropkicked away another Blum crossbody… adding an elevated German suplex for a near-fall on top of that. Blum tries to hit the Parting Gift again, but instead caught Akira for an elevated suplex… before he finally hit the Parting Gift for a near-fall.
Blum heads up top, but Akira’s there to cut him off… Blum knocks him down, only to miss a corkscrew splash as Akira rushed back in to nearly snatch a win with a headlock takedown. Yep. From there, Akira spins Blum down with the Speedfire… before the Fireball running Meteora put the upstart away. There’s plenty of upside in Blum, but this was perhaps a step too far for him on this night. ***¼
Icarus vs. Maggot
Icarus is in his butcher’s apron – and has that wound from Friday’s match with Dover that probably hasn’t healed too much. Foreshadowing.
Icarus grabbed a chair from under the ring – to protect himself from Maggot’s Kendo stick – but they lay down their arms as we got going with strikes. Maggot’s Thesz press and punches has Icarus down… while punches and some biting in the corner re-opened Icarus’ wound.
Maggot’s suplex lands for a two-count, before Icarus ducked a spear from Maggot… and followed up with a suplex into a corner for a two-count. Icarus’ uppercut lands for another two-count before Maggot fought back with forearms… only to get marched around in a floatover Fisherman buster for a near-fall.
A spear from Maggot turns it back around as he began to bounce Icarus around, leading to a big back body drop. Another crossbody lands for a near-fall, before Icarus’ forearms, German suplex and clothesline had him back in control. Telegraphing the Crossfire allows Maggot a chance to bite the knee, before a piledriver nearly ended things…
Maggot flips off Icarus, earning himself a Crossfire for a near-fall, before Icarus lost his temper and grabbed the weaponry. The Kendo stick’s used on Maggot, and there’s the obvious DQ… **¾
Post-match, Maggot chucks the chair at Icarus before referees came out to keep the two apart.
Aigle Blanc & Mike D Vecchio vs. Astronauts (Fuminori Abe & Takuya Nomura)
Aigle’s got a black mask, after Senza Volto ripped his other one off as the Frenchadors split the prior evening…
Abe and Aigle start us off, trading holds, takedowns and escapes as we reached a stand-off. Tags bring in Mike D and Takuya Nomura, with Nomura getting thrown aside… so Nomura slaps him after taking the Belgian into the ropes. Mike D took that as well as you’d think, as he knocked Nomura down before bringing Aigle back in.
Abe’s brought back in as the Astronauts double-team Aigle… whose attempt to fight back earned him a slap from Nomura, then a stomp to the elbow. A Key lock from Abe sees him focus on Aigle’s arm… but a Twister suplex buys Aigle time as Mike D came back into play.
Mike D lays waste to the Astronauts with clotheslines and suplexes, only for Abe to ‘rana Mike into the corner ahead of a spinning kick to the midsection. Nomura’s back, but Mike D lit him up with chops, before Nomura returned the favours with kicks. A brainbuster from Nomura’s telegraphed but still lands, ahead of a PK for a near-fall as Nomura transitioned seamlessly into a cross armbreaker.
Powerbombing free, Mike D’s able to tag out to Aigle, who catches Nomura with a ‘rana driver between the ropes, before a trapped-arm Sharpshooter was broken up by an Abe headbutt. Mike’s back to knock the Astronauts outside, so he could… press slam Aigle onto them?! That bloody maniac…
Back inside, a Parade of Moves breaks out, with Aigle wiping out Nomura with a knee strike… before a double-team took Aigle into an armbar, only for Mike D to break it up after he’d gotten free of Abe in the ropes. A double-team back suplex sees Mike wipe out the Astronauts again ahead of a springboard Meteora to the back of Nomura’s head for a near-fall from Aigle.
Aigle and Nomura trade strikes, with Nomura inching ahead… Abe’s back to trade kicks to the head, leading to Abe skinning the cat… only to get caught with a Dragon suplex. He’s quickly back with the Irabu punch, then a snap Regalplex for a near-fall, before Mike D broke a manjigatame by picking up Abe onto the top rope. A returning Nomura gets involved, but eats a Twisting superplex from Aigle before Mike D’s running leap sees him take Abe off the top for a superplex… WHAT THE HELL?! A 450 from Mike D misses, but Aigle’s doesn’t as Abe barely kicked out in time, before a wrist-clutch Made in Japan got Aigle Blanc the win in a breathless finish. Some of the stuff Mike D pulls out is unfair and insane… and it remains to be seen what becomes of Aigle Blanc next. ***½
“Earlier today,” Mett Dimassi tells us – and 1 Called Manders – that he’s got a qualifier for 16 Carat Gold 2024 coming up. He’s interrupted by his opponent, Axel Tischer, introducing himself as Axel the Great, who told of of his plans to win Carat next year. We’ll see about that…
16 Carat Gold 2024 Qualifier: Axel Tischer vs. 1 Called Manders
The winner of this joins Luke Jacobs in the field for Carat next year… and we started with Tischer faking out a jump start.
Manders returned the favour in a cautious start, before an arm wringer from Tischer led to Manders swinging for a clothesline. A drop toe hold has no effect on Manders, so Tischer goes for the back of the knee instead, only to get bodyslammed as Manders shrugged it off.
Another chop block takes out Manders’ knee, but he’s quickly in with a back body drop before Tischer took Manders to the corner and worked over the lariating arm. Manders gets back to his feet, but is quickly spun back down as Tischer went back to the arm, standing on it by the ropes.
Tischer hurls Manders into the corner with Irish whips, sending Manders outside as the former linebacker barely beat the count-out. Fighting back sees Manders instinctively use his bad arm, which hampered things before he clobbered Tischer in the corner ahead of a leaping shoulder tackle.
A three-point stance leads to a series of chops to Tischer in the corner, but the bad arm stops Manders as Tischer grabbed it and snapped some fingers. Manders retaliates with some left-handed chops, going all Machine Gun on Tischer before a Doctor bomb drew a near-fall.
Tischer’s leaping leg lariat finds its mark, as does a bridging German suplex, but Manders is up at two. A half-hatch suplex out of the corner keeps Tischer ahead, before Manders came back with the Oklahoma Stampede for a near-fall. The pair swing at each other with chops, but it’s Manders’ whose land as he proceeded to take Tischer up top for what looked like an avalanche slam… but Tischer goes back to the bad arm and breaks free ahead of a flying clothesline off the top.
We’re back in the corner as Manders lifts Tischer onto the apron, clotheslining him to the floor ahead of a flash low-pe. Nope, wasn’t expecting THAT. Back inside though, a death valley driver gets Tischer back in it, before it’s back to the strikes as Manders’ headbutt and lariat dumped the Axeman to the mat.
The pair trade Junkyard Dog-style headbutts from their knees as things escalate once more… leading to a big knee strike, then a head kick from Tischer. A suplex followed, but Manders escaped, then landed a wild lariat off the topes to snatch the win. A surprising result, but this was some delightful stuff with Manders outstriking Tischer – and outlasting the arm injury to boot. ***½
Joseph Fenech Jr. vs. Latigo
This was the first outing for the former Senza Volto, and I’d be fearing if I wore a mask…
We got going with Fenech taking Latigo into the ropes, before Latigo kipped up from a chop and dished out one for Fenech. A hands-free handspring from Latigo sees him evade Fenech, before some misdirection led to a superkick to take Fenech outside. Latigo tees up a dive, but walks away from it… then teased bailing on the match as he headed to the back… only to sprint back through the crowd and blindside Latigo.
Fenech kicks the ropes into Latigo, sending him outside as the tempo slowed down again. Back inside, Fenech works over the arm, then grabbed the ropes in a cheating abdominal stretch. Latigo tries to break free, but Fenech keeps the hold on… at least until the referee kicked the hand off of the ropes.
Infuriated, Fenech squared up to referee Alex Schneider… shoving him, only for Schneider to shove back. Fenech goes to swing at Schneider, but Latigo’s back to take down Fenech with headscissors, sending him outside as a misdirection tope con giro wiped out some more chairs.
Back inside, Latigo heads up top, but his frog splash goes nowhere as he instead hit a crossbody in the corner… then hits the frog splash at the second attempt for a near-fall. Latigo froes for a suplex, but to no avail as Fenech lifts him onto the apron, then hit a handspring kick as a tope wiped out Latigo on the floor… before a handspring cutter back inside almost got the win.
Latigo kicks out at two, then began to fight back… landing an End of Heartbreak out of Roderick Strong’s playbook for a two-count. From the kick-out, Fenech swipes Latigo’s mask, holding it between his teeth as he proceeded to tease a STF… which Latigo resists before he tapped out to protect his identity. There’ll be a story about this, as Fenech’s “first day” in wXw sees him pick up a win through some pretty rotten means. ***
Post-match, Robin Christopher Fohrwerk appeared on the stage, looking to give Joseph Fenech Jr. a high-five… but he’s once again shunned by the Frenchman.
“Earlier today,” Mett’s with Nicole Matthews, who tells us she’s a winner wherever she goes. We find out she’s requested her title shot for this show, saying she’s got momentum behind her…
wXw Women’s Championship: Nicole Matthews vs. Ava Everett (c)
So, for the final match this weekend, we get to hear the Y2Kuties cracker of a theme…
This was a first-time meeting as Everett slapped away a handshake… while the cameras cut to Jacob Crane clutching Ava’s two title belts while looking, as some put it, “studious” in those sunglasses. Kinda like Homer Simpson…
Matthews works around Ava, moving from a hammerlock into a snapmare and a chinlock, before Ava’s attempt to escape ended with her getting slapped down by Matthews. A shoulder tackle keeps Ava down, as did a dropkick, before Everett’s attempt at a waistlock ended with her getting rolled to the mat in an Indian deathlock.
Everett gets to the ropes to force a break, but Matthews takes her between the ropes for some kicks to the chest… before she teased lashing out at Jacob Crane and Aaron Rourke. Ava tries to kick the ropes between Matthews’ legs, but Nicole got out of the way before she got caught with a back rake back inside.
Ava distracts the referee as Matthews got choked by Aaron Rourke in the ropes… it led to a face-washing kick for a near-fall, before an Irish whip bounced Matthews into the corner for another two-count. Everett feigns ignorance as she began to pull on Matthews’ hair, but that just angers the challenger as Matthews fought back with forearms, before a neckbreaker and some short-arm clotheslines led to a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall.
More kicks from Matthews wear down Everett, before she caught a springboard out of the corner, turning it into a rear naked choke. Everett pushes back and tries to pin Matthews in the hold… but to no avail as a double clothesline laid both women out. A roll-up from Everett nearly nicks the win, as did a sidewalk slam/backbreaker combo, before Matthews blocked a superkick.
Everett’s met with a sheer-drop brainbuster after that, but it’s not enough… so Matthews switches to a cross armbreaker, then a LeBell cravat hold, prompting Aaron Rourke to drag Everett out of the ring to save the match. The referee ejects Aaron Rourke for that, but in among the distractions misses Jacob Crane whacking Matthews with the title belt, before Everett took the win with a superkick. ***¼
Aaron Rourke, a man of the rules, didn’t come back to celebrate Ava’s win… despite him barely having made it to the back when the result happened.
World Tag Team Festival 2023 Final for wXw World Tag Team Championships: Dennis Dullnig & Hektor Invictus vs. RENEGADES (Mizuki Watase & Shigehiro Irie) vs. AMBOSS (Laurance Roman & Robert Dreissker) (c)
We’re running under elimination rules here – so AMBOSS need to outlast two other teams if they’re to leave Oberhausen with all four belts…
Dullnig and Irie start us off with a handshake, as Irie’s early wristlock’s broken free of with a dropkick… Irie and Watase quickly combine for the slingshot splash and senton atomico combo, picking up a two-count before Dullnig pushed free and had Hektor tag in. Watase’s hiptoss and low dropkick finds its mark, as Hektor’s taken into the corner for some face-washing.
Hektor turns it around, clotheslining Watase out of the corner for a two-count, before Dullnig slapped Hektor’s back to tag himself back in. Snapmares and kicks follow from Dennis, before Hektor finally got payback by lighting up Cash’s back a slap to tag back in. Irie’s back in to lay out Dullnig in the corner… stopping to swipe Laurance Roman off the apron ahead of the crossbody to take Dreissker off the apron.
Dullnig’s chucked outside by Irie, with Dreissker in the right place at the right time to prevent an even worse landing… leaving us with Irie evading Hektor to hit a dive. Watase’s back as Hektor’s resigned to watching one more dive, but Watase’s got to strip off first… so Hektor just wipes him out with a dropkick.
Dullnig’s back up on the apron, but gets knocked down as Watase nearly put away Hektor with an O’Connor roll… Roman tags himself in as Hektor’s back seemed to be a designated tagging point. Roman’s forearms are shrugged off by Watase, but a kick to the midsection yields a two-count. AMBOSS swarm Watase in the corner ahead of a Roman suplex for a two-count.
Watase’s dropkick stops Roman in his tracks as Irie tagged back in… Dreissker’s in too, as the current and former champion squared off. Roman tries to make the save, but he’s knocked into the corner as Irie hit some running clotheslines to the two AMBOSS members. Roman clings on to stop the cannonballs, but Watase’s coast to coast lands on Dreissker as Irie hit one of those cannonballs anyway.
Irie’s back body drop flings Dreissker across the ring ahead of a dropkick-aided Fire Thunder driver on Roman onto Dreissker for a near-fall. Some biting from Roman distracts the referee, allowing Dreissker in to hit a low blow on Irie… before the facebuster and a Dreissker Bomb led to Irie getting eliminated at 9:27.
Irie and Watase were left broken-hearted as we resumed with Hektor and Dullnig throwing Roman into the corner with a hiptoss… Poetry in Motion kinda followed, before Roman got bodyslammed onto Dullnig’s knees. Roman’s able to tag out to Dreissker, but Dreissker didn’t want to deal with the man he considered a joke.
Dullnig refuses to tag out though, and ends up hitting a spinebuster instead for a two-count. Hektor’s in to help with a double dropkick, before he went up top… but their tease of “the Hardy Boyz” was shoved away as Dreissker shoved Roman into Hektor in the corner. Apparently that counts as a tag as Hektor’s brought in with a superplex for a two-count. Roman’s back as AMBOSS continued to wear down Hektor with some choking in the ropes. A front facelock’s powered out of by Hektor, who ends up suplexing Roman into the AMBOSS corner… Dreissker runs in, then tagged in to hit a bodyslam on Hektor ahead of a splash off the ropes for a two-count.
Quick tags bring Roman back in to stomp and slap away on Hektor in the corner, before Hektor hit back with a powerslam. That cleared the way for Dullnig to tag in… but Dreissker charges in and knocks him off the apron, before Hektor gave Dreissker his second back body drop of the night. There’s something satisfying about that…
Hektor finally makes the tag out to Dullnig, who suplexes Roman into Dreissker in the corner. A uranage’s next, but Dullnig breaks the pin as Dreissker accidentally splashed Roman for a near-fall. We’ve a knee strike from Dullnig to Roman as Hektor began to bark orders to Dullnig… but a wild lariat from Roman looked to shut it all down.
Dreissker’s back to hit a back suplex/neckbreaker combo, while a frog splash from Roman almost won as Hektor broke up the cover. Hektor takes Roman outside, but Roman recovers to hit that facebuster literally into the front row. Dreissker’s out to damn near break Hektor and the chairs with a back senton as Hektor was draped across the chairs… before Hektor got sent deeper into the crowd.
That leaves Dullnig on his own against AMBOSS. It goes as well as you’d think as AMBOSS quickly built up to the Dreissker Bomb, but Dullnig somehow kicks out at two – to a LOUD roar from the crowd. From there, Dullnig’s lifted up to the top rope, but their double-team superplex backfires as Dullnig fought out… avoiding a Dreissker crossbody, only to run into a lariat.
A second Dreissker bomb looks to follow, but Hektor’s back in the ring and cuts off Dreissker… hitting a powerbomb out of the corner. Roman tries to stop it, but he’s met with the Hardy Boyz special of a Twist of Fate and a senton bomb… Dreissker eats a 3D from there as we’re going into the 00s tag team playbook, before a double Hektor-Knie to Dreissker ended up getting the win. That roar on the pin as Dullnig and Hektor won the titles was something to behold, as the unlikely duo ran the gauntlet and left Oberhausen with the tag titles. ***¾
World Tag Team Festival wrapped up with another dose of rice pudding – points to you if you get that reference – as a tandem that only just appeared back on the scene in August made an uneasy friendship work, and left Oberhausen celebrating into the night.