After the atmosphere from Saturday night, it was back to the Turbinenhalle as we waited to see whether Monster Consulting could somehow make it and retain their titles.
We open with a video package showing all of the teams in the tournament, and cue the stirring music as Thommy Giesen opens the show running down the two blocks and their point scores. There’s a few permutations, but we’re straight into the action!
Group A: RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) vs. Okami (Daichi Hashimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani)
With group A – the “Gedo Group” – being split, it’s win or bust for everyone here, and that’s before we even factor in tiebreakers!
Hashimoto and Thatcher get us underway, with big Tim taking down Hashimoto after some wrist work, but an early cross armbreaker instantly ends in the ropes. Kamitani tags in… and so does WALTER as the hosses enter the fray, starting with shoulder tackles that led to a quick Gojira clutch, then a leapfrog and a kick to the head as WALTER took control.
Thatcher’s in, throwing uppercuts before Kamitani tries to slam WALTER… and ends up falling back on himself, leading to a two-count. A quick exchange of chops is won by WALTER, before Kamitani found the strength to slam WALTER! Tags out follow as Thatcher and Hashimoto exchange forearms to the head… Hashimoto swaps it up for kicks, taking Tim down, and it goes from bad to worse for Tim as the Big Japan tandem continued to lay it in.
A high/low clothesline/legsweep combo nearly puts Thatcher away, but he’s back as RINGKAMPF locked in duel Gojira clutches… which goes sour as Thatcher’s dumped on his head from a back suplex. Thatcher’s able to tag out as WALTER brings more chops and a shotgun dropkick to Kamitani, who then takes a powerbomb… then a powerbomb with a Thatcher uppercut in the mix for a near-fall as Hashimoto fought to break up the cover.
In the end, another exchange from chops sees WALTER mix it up – as he decked Hashimoto with a snug lariat for the win. RINGKAMPF need to hope that the Lucha Bros beat CCK – although we don’t quite know how ties are going to be sorted so we’ll wait and see. A hell of an opening match, with Okami getting a standing ovation in defeat. A really high bar for the rest of the card to meet! ****¼
Group A: CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs. Lucha Bros (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M)
We’re not going to have to wait long to see how group A plays out, and this has the potential to top our opener!
There’s duelling chants of cero miedo/CCK before the bell even rings, but Fenix lets the chants die down before we get a chop battle. Gresham cheapshots Penta off the apron, then scores with headscissors for Fenix as he continued to taunt Penta. That’s probably not a smart thing to do…
Penta goes sailing in with a low missile dropkick to the Greshams, as the poor Octopus was getting battered. Chris Brookes comes in to try and make a save, but he’s caught in a Tree of Woe ahead of an insane assisted cannonball. I have no words! Another chop battle ends with Gresham doing an ACH, going low after distracting the ref, and a tag to Brookes doesn’t yield much better results as a dropkick from Fenix put the big man down.
Penta comes in and holds Brookes in the ropes for a monstrous chop, but he makes a comeback with a dropkick/back senton combo to the Lucha Bros as Gresham’s brought in to try and tame the Penta beast. He has a little success doing so, scoring with a makeshift 720 DDT off the ropes after his initial Quebrada was caught. There’s an elevated lungblower and back senton out of CCK who tried to isolate Penta… doing so with a reverse ‘rana, a Praying Mantis Bomb and a BEAUTIFUL Shooting Star press from Gresham, only for Fenix to make the save!
Brookes eats a wicked Destroyer, but Penta is down for another Gresham shooting star press as CCK inched ever closer… and just as I say that, everything breaks out at once as a pumphandle driver from Penta dumped Gresham for a near-fall, while Brookes was wiped out with a tornillo on the outside… another Parade of Moves breaks out, ending with a slingshot cutter and a third shooting star press as CCK took home the win! Absolutely immense stuff here, as CCK survived the Lucha Bros and picked up the vital win – and since we’re going by tie-breakers, CCK make it to the finals! ****¼
Post-match we got the customary handshakes and a standing ovation for the Lucha Bros – who got our second “please come back” of the night. I bloody hope so!
16 Carat Gold announcement time – Rey Horus is announced for the tournament, which’ll run between March 8-10 2019.
LuFisto vs. Wesna
Time for a change of pace here, with a match that we first saw ten years ago on SHIMMER, for those of you collecting those DVDs.
Of course, Wesna was massively over given that this was more or less in “her house”… but LuFisto played the coward early, suckering in Wesna into the ropes for an early knee. Wesna responds with a massive boot that took LuFisto to the outside, but the Canadian hits back with a hotshot from the floor before unloading with some forearms that sent Wesna slumping to the floor.
Wesna gets to her feet and chops LuFisto – with the help of the crowd – but LuFisto turns it around by putting her into a chair, then connecting with a dropkick that sent the Croat skidding back into the stands. LuFisto stays on top, stretching Wesna in the ring as the crowd got behind her… and eventually it works as we’ve a STO out of Wesna as the comeback began.
A capture suplex throws LuFisto across the ring, as she gets up into a big boot for a near-fall, but LuFisto returns the favour with a back suplex. A hip attack and a cannonball keeps the momentum going, but it’s for nought as Wesna caught LuFisto with a death valley driver for the win. This was a pretty solid match, with the victory breaking the tie these two had had in their prior outings. ***
Group B: Jay-FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
Time to start sorting out group B now, but not before the crowd got to mock “Schurrle”…
Of course, Jay-FK scattered like rodents as soon as Aussie Open hit the ring, and we’ve got the usual stalling tactics here. Well, until Jay-FK rushed the Aussies with some surprising success. Except the Aussies quickly turn it around, taking Skillet into the corner for Davis’ sliding forearm and an assisted cutter that would have won it, had Francis Kaspin not pulled out the ref!
Jay-FK stay outside and eat a tope, before Skillet’s thrown back inside. A chop block from Kaspin saves Skillet from the double-team sit-out powerbomb, and Jay-FK take over from there, taking out Davis’ leg while focusing on the smaller Fletcher, keeping him in the corner while exchanging frequent tags to stomp away on him.
The crowd started to get behind Fletcher as he mounted a comeback, but another high/low put him down… before he caught Skillet with a superkick. Kaspin gets involved again to keep Dunkzilla away from a tag, but Fletcher bought some more time with a Michinoku driver as Davis finally comes through to murder Jay-FK with chops and clotheslines. Dunkzilla’s hot tags are a thing of beauty!
A stacked up bodyslam sees Davis take down Jay-FK at the same time, but Kaspin escapes the Alphamare Waterslide – and with Skillet distracting the ref, we’ve a low blow and a roll-up as Jay-FK took the win… just like yesterday. With the head-to-head win over Aussie Open, Jay-FK are in the driving seat going into the final, needing Team SPLX to pick up a win to get them there! ***½
Thommy Giesen tells us that in the event of a three-way tie (i.e. Monster Consulting win), we’ll be drawing lots – since we’ll have comparable win/loss records.
Group B: Team SPLX (Jeff Cobb & Angelico) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero)
With those high stakes, this is MUST WIN for Monster Consulting, and I expect some interference from the team that’ll benefit the most from it. Are Jay-FK around?
We start instantly with the powerhouses as Cobb and Avalanche exchange a shoulder tackle… but that went against Julian Nero’s game plan so both men tag out. Nero doesn’t fare much better against Angelico, so we have more tags, with Avalanche knocking Cobb down… and we have a BIG back body drop. Cheers Avalanche!
Nero’s back in to take his shots on a cornered Cobb, scoring with a knee drop before a diving crossbody from Avalanche draws a near-fall… but Cobb can’t get away as the tag team champions keep him in the wrong corner. Another diving crossbody’s good for a near-fall from Cobb, as Angelico finally gets the tag in, using Nero as a stepping stool en route to a flying knee to Avalanche in the corner. Nero and Angelico are legal, trading haymakers before another leaping knee from Angelico found its mark… as did a kick to the back, as Nero was again forced to kick out at two.
Cobb’s back to play his part for a stalling suplex/crossbody deal for another near-fall as Nero remained isolated, trapped in a single leg crab right by the ropes as we got a pretty quick break. Problem was, Cobb was right back to keep Nero down, but a spinning back elbow helps take down the Hawaiian as Avalanche gets the hot tag… easily putting down Angelico with a belly to belly.
Darkness Falls from Avalanche for a near-fall, before a slam and a Bomb Scare knee drop from Nero nearly brings things to an end. Avalanche keeps it up, squashing Cobb and Angelico in the corner before dumping Angelico with a Final Consultation and a ripcord clothesline for a near-fall… with Cobb breaking up that cover just in time.
Angelico ‘ranas out of something from Nero, as Avalanche tries to leap onto Cobb… but he’s caught and taken down with a crowd popping Oklahoma Stampede! A Doomsday Flying Knee’s next, before Nero’s thrown into a Tour of the Islands for a near-fall as Avalanche broke it up. The big guys slug it out again, but Avalanche has a Rainmaker in his locker for Cobb, before Angelico blocked a Final Consultation! He outsmarts the champions as Nero’s knees took out his own man… and a wacky roll-up from Angelico puts Nero down for the pin. Monster Consulting are OUT of World Tag Team League – Jay-FK or CCK will be our new World Tag Team Champions later tonight! This was a good block match, but hurt a little by the announcement of “drawing lots” – with the crowd perhaps not being too happy with the knowledge that “even if they win, Monster Consulting might not make the final”? ***½
So, after the groups were decided, here’s your final standings:
CCK, RINGKAMPF (2-1; 6pts)
Lucha Bros, Okami (1-2; 3pts)
Jay-FK, Aussie Open (2-1; 6pts)
Monster Consulting, Team SPLX (1-2; 3pts)
Post-match, Avalanche grabbed the tag titles from the timekeeper’s table, as they were forced to hand over the belts to Tassilo Jung as their gamble to defend their titles in World Tag Team League narrowly backfired. What’s next for Monster Consulting? We’ll have to wait and see…
We start the second half with a video of Dirty Dragan backstage with Sebastian Hollmichel and Emil Sitoci, building up our next match. It’s the last match in the Dirty Dragan Trial Series – and it’s win or bust for Dragan’s wXw career. I smell shenanigans…
Jurn Simmons & Alexander James vs. Dirty Dragan & Emil Sitoci
This became a tag match after yesterday’s attack, and Emil’s looking a little too focused… because Dragan’s coming through the crowd with a belt to do a little whipping of his own!
Sitoci finally hits the ring after Dragan’s knocked down, and he wipes out James with a Snapmare Driver… only to turn around into a Massive Boot and a piledriver as the bell rang?! Dragan charges in with a dropkick for a near-fall, and begins some ground and pound as he’s pretty much on his own.
A clothesline from Jurn spun Dragan around, but Dragan manages to hit back with a piledriver of his own for an ear-fall, as Sitoci and James remained way-laid. This crowd’s solidly behind Dragan, who looks to go up top, only for James to shove him down to the mat. Sitoci’s back with a crossbody into Jurn and James, as he looked to become a one-man wrecking crew, catching Jurn with a gutbuster… heading up top for the Macho Man flying elow that found its mark.
The spinning tombstone is next on Jurn, who’s dragged across so Dragan can do a frog splash, which looked to get the win… but Alexander James put Jurn’s foot on the rope! The pin was counted, but the match is restarted… only for Jurn to hit a Massive Boot… and that’s Dirty Dragan gone from wXw?! The match felt way too short for this to be the final chapter. Much like when A4 split last year, you could feel the air having been taken from the room at that result. **¾
There’s a handful of fans QUICKLY BOOED DOWN as they chanted “auf wiedersehen” at Dragan. They were drowned out by Dragan chants, and applause as Dragan left the ring for the final (?) time.
Lucky Kid vs. Tarkan Aslan
This one technically got going all the way back at Back to the Roots, when Tarkan “got injured” in the Käfigschlacht – and then was reignited at Shortcut to the Top when Aslan’s villainy was revealed.
My God, the thunderclap during the RISE music for big events will never cease to give me goosebumps.
Lucky Kid was all in Aslan’s face before the bell, and they start by going a million miles an hour, laying into each other with rights after Lucky’s attempt to fire out of the gates came up short. An exchange of elbows had Lucky rocked, before Tarkan just spat on him. Lucky laughs it off and hits a shotgun dropkick, ahead of a pair of low dropkicks that stunned his older brother… who went to the outside and was flipped off as Lucky BLAHHHED.
Except Tarkan dragged him out of the ring and began to take him into the crowd, slamming his little brother on the stands, as the crowd began to rail on Tarkan for looking like a second-rate Mufasa. The beatdown continue as Tarkan tried to take an over-easy pin, laying on Lucky for a two-count, but that prompts a fightback from Lucky – and an appearance from Marius al-Ani, who brought his Shotgun title with him, and used it as Lucky went for a handspring. It didn’t help immediately, so Marius slides the belt in … only for Pete Bouncer to appear and grab the other end, thwarting his former RISE buddy.
Ivan Kiev’s out too, pulling Marius off the apron as we ended up with Tarkan Aslan getting surrounded, just as Lucky found another flurry, nailing a Dragon suplex before trapping Tarkan in a crossface for the win! A pretty solid match, but again this felt a little rushed at the end. More of a first chapter than a definite blow off? ***¼
Post-match, RISE stood united as Marius and Tarkan slunk away through the crowd.
They replay the Doug Williams Hall of Fame announcement from night two, and now it’s time for our main event.
World Tag Team League Final for wXw World Tag Team Championship: Jay-FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham)
After making it to the finals, Jay-FK have… sprayed their hair?! Well, I guess the Fabrizio Ravanelli look was fresh a long time ago. Perhaps it’ll work as they look to gain some championships they held, but never won?
Of course, CCK were the massive crowd favourites going into this, and of course they get jumped as the match starts on the outside with a spot of brawling before the bell goes. Well, at least they’re not scurrying away like before!
The brawling continues as CCK kept the upper hand, with Gresham throwing a bottle of water into Kaspin, while Brookes and Skillet brawled on the other side of the ring. I nearly typed Schurlle there… cheers crowd! Speaking of “Schurlle”, he’s posted by Brookes, before he played a Mexican stand-off, refusing to go into the ring and then pulling down Gresham… into a chairshot as Kaspin had somehow procured a chair.
Brookes gets it too and issues retribution – all legal since it’s before the bell – as was the mini Brookesing we got beforehand. Kaspin’s grabbed and thrown into a guard wall that’s used for gigs as we’re still walking-and-brawling, but Skillet’s back to save Kaspin from a Praying Mantis Bomb on the runway – with Kaspin hitting a spinning neckbreaker instead for a sickening thud.
Gresham leaps off the runway into Jay-FK on the floor, and finally all four enter the ring… and ding goes the bell!
Finally the match starts with some back-and-forth elbows, but it’s a kick rom Brookes that’s caught as Jay-FK looked to gain the upper hand. Gresham outsmarts them with some waistlock switches, then with some misdirection before a Quebrada dropped Kaspin en route to a nice roll-through ankle lock.
Skillet tries to interfere, but he’s taken outside as Kaspin is left on his own, as Gresham pulled him into an Octopus hold… with Skillet suffering a similar fate as he was caught by Brookes in the ropes. Kaspin eventually gets to the ropes to force a break, but Skillet returns to turn it around as an assisted neckbreaker/splash combo nearly put Brookes away. A superkick-assisted death valley driver keeps Brookes down for two as Gresham again makes a save, only to get thrown outside, as Brookes ended up taking a spear/clothesline combo.
There’s a lungblower/stomp combo – eerily similar to the CCK double-team move – but Brookes has his own two-in-one in the form of the missile dropkick/back senton combo to Jay-FK. A tag’s made to Gresham, who sparks a battle of elbows with Kaspin, before sneaking in a Stunner and a a back elbow… we’ve another low blow and attempt at cheating from Jay-FK, but Skillet can’t help pick up a third win in a row as Chris Brookes saw it coming and leapt in off the top to break it up.
Gresham and Skillet trade shots again as Brookes laid out Kaspin with a chop at ringside, just in time for Gresham to go hog wild with a tope con giro to Kaspin on the outside. Back inside, a Brookes slingshot cutter and a shooting star press from Gresham draws a near-fall.
Brooke again baseball slides Kaspin on the outside as CCK set-up for a stuff Praying Mantis Bomb… but we’ve a ref bump as Kaspin;’s; back with a chair that he damn near threw into the crowd. The cheating doesn’t pay-off as a wheelbarrow lungblower/double stomp draws another two-count out of Gresham, as CCK were still alive, as proved when Gresham countered a suplex into a small package, which sparked a series of ref-trolling reversals for an eventual two-count.
A brainbuster from Skillet’s good for a near-fall as Brookes broke it up – only to get shoved to the outside with a baseball slide by Kaspin – and Skillet’s starting to get very frustrated as Gresham keeps kicking out. Kaspin’s got Brookes tied up on the outside as a superkick draws a near-fall, and we’re still going as a uranage/backcracker combo proved to be too much – Jay-FK take the win, and leave Oberhausen with the tag team titles! Another shocking result (on a night of them), as we have new tag team champions! A pretty unpopular result going by the boos, but a match that capped off the ascent of Jay-FK – whom a year ago had barely started teaming! ***½
Six shows in four days (from Inner Circle to the finals), this was an emotional and long weekend. Every single show, and for that manner, every single match was enjoyable in its own right to watch, whether it was for the brutality of the chop wars we had invariably involving RINGKAMPF, the Lucha Bros’ own stylings, Jay-FK’s cowardly antics, and of course… Saturday night. Sure, some of Sunday’s matches and results were a little deflating, but as we were told before, it can’t always be Christmas!
We’ve been saying this for a long time now, but if you’re able to get to a wXw marquee event, you owe it to yourself to make the trip to Oberhausen. Especially on the festival weekends (16 Carat and World Tag Team League).
If you’ve read the reviews and want to catch the shows, these are scheduled to start dropping on wXw NOW in the coming days; one show a day until today’s finals drop on Thursday night (October 11). Heck this past Thursday’s Inner Circle is up to stream now, so why not sign up at wXwnow.de and see what you think – our review of that will follow once we’re back in the UK!