wXw gave us a taste of their Academy as we saw outings from the links of Oskar, Anil Marik and Tibo Hendrik in the first academy show in nineteen months.
Robert Dreissker pinned Tibo Hendrik in 9:03 (***)
Kilo & Echo pinned Rocky Jones & Nick Schreier in 12:39 (**)
Yuval Goldshmit pinned Gaya Glass in 5:52 (**)
Alpha Kevin & The Rotation pinned Lukas Robinson & Tempesta in 16:49 (**¾)
Oskar pinned Danny Fray in 7:16 (**¾)
Anil Marik submitted Jacob Crane in 15:03 (**¾)
For the first time since February 2020, wXw held an Academy show in front of fans at the Academy in Essen. Yep, it’s a trainee show, but for the VOD at least it looks like they’ve shed the “Scouting the Next Generation” tag, in favour of the more generic “wXw Wrestling Academy Live,” moniker.
We’re live on tape from Essen, with English commentary coming from Dave Bradshaw. Francis Kaspin opens the show and is acting as ring announcer.
Robert Dreissker vs. Tibo Hendrik
Hendrik made his “debut” at the last Inner Circle show, and eschewed the usual “face the coach” graduation match. Until now.
It’s fairly even to start as Hendrik tried to use his speed advantage, but that’s nullified when Dreissker bulls through him before a side headlock on the deck grounded Hendrik. Tibo tries some dropkicks, but Dreissker’s seemed much more effective, before he Biel’d Hendrik across the ring. The lights go out briefly as I have visions of that Inner Circle in the Darkness – where we all sang along to David Hasselhoff to some spotlights – but the lights resume as Dreissker continued to dominate.
A crossbody from Tibo’s caught… but he escapes a fallaway slam and managed to boot Dreissker down ahead of almost a froggy Meteora to the Austrian. An enziguiri lands, as do some clotheslines, before Tibo ran into a chokeslam. He avoids a back senton though, then caught Dreissker with a back body drop as a set-up for a standing moonsault.
Dreissker’s back with a sidewalk slam, before an Avalanche splash, a fallaway slam and a Dreissker bomb stopped Tibo in his tracks. A solid match which had Hendrik get some offence in, but in the end the new graduate was just overwhelmed. ***
Projekt Justitia (Echo & Kilo) vs. Nick Schreier & Rocky Jones
We just get a single graphic for Justitia, but one of them has a name badge on – von Krupp. So I’m making the assumption that Kilo is Hans von Krupp elsewhere in Germany, and it’s hard not to make the Shield comparison. Or at least, the Bashams as riot guards…
Echo takes Schreier into the corner early on, before Schreier countered a Cornish Hipe-like hiptoss into an armdrag. Jones tags in eventually, dropkicking Echo into the corner while Schreier returned as a base for a step-up monkey flip… which Echo blocked by way of a front suplex.
Kilo tags in and continued to dominate Schreier, who’s kept in the Justitia corner ahead of a suplex from Echo. Schreier’s slammed by Echo, then met with a legdrop ahead of a double suplex that gets Kilo a delayed two-count. Echo’s back for a flying stomp as Schreier had taken a backbreaker, but again… two-count.
Echo gets a little too nonchalant as he held Schreier away from a tag… then took him into the Justitia corner for some stomps as Schreier eventually fought back with a Capoeira-style kick. Finally Schreier gets free and heads up top, landing a crossbody for a barely a one-count as Rocky Jones gets the tag in.
Kilo’s back too as Jones built up to a clothesline, before he brought Schreier right back in for a Hart Attack Slingblade out of the corner. It doesn’t get the win as Jones gets thrown outside, leaving Schreier in on his own for a Snake Eyes from Echo, then a double-team slam that led to a Kilo splash for the win. There’s a lot of work needed on the Justitia act, but this was fine for a trainee show. Those riot vests probably need to go before they get to a bigger stage though! **
Yuval Goldshmit vs. Gaya Glass
Both Goldshmit and Glass are from Israel, but Yuval’s not too thrilled about having to wrestle Gaya. Kaspin cuts off his whinging, and we’re underway!
Goldshmit throws Glass aside early on, then tried to get her to forfeit the match. Gaya was having none of it though, as she’s taken into the corner and slapped Yuval, before a dropkick took Goldshmit to the floor. He’s kept outside with dropkicks ahead of a kick to the back, but rolling back into the ring has Glass on the back foot.
A headlock takedown has Goldshmit ahead, as did a bodyslam, before Glass fought back with some elbows. Her cartwheel’s caught, but Glass gets free to hit a dropkick and a cartwheel forearm into the corner, before she went up top and hit a crossbody… which got caught and turned into a nasty backbreaker. Bloody hell… a running knee followed, and that’s the win. Short, but perfectly fine for what it was with Glass putting up some fight. **
Tempesta & Lukas Robinson vs. Alpha Kevin & The Rotation
Some familiar faces here, with Lukas Robinson formerly being the backpacker who’d walk 500 miles (and 500 more)… now he’s more straight-laced. Tempesta looks familiar, but I’m not about to out a hooded wrestler (accidentally or otherwise!) They’re up against Alpha Kevin and the Rotation, who don’t get dubbed music…
Rotation’s taken into the ropes by Robinson to start, before some forearms took Lukas into the corner. Alpha Kevin’s in to throw some more, before Rotation’s clotheslines and armdrags had Robinson in the corner. A dropkick takes Robinson outside, but Tempesta charges down Rotation before he could go for a dive.
Tempesta’s in to boot away on Rotation, as Alpha Kevin tagged in and got smashed in the face. Kevin hits back as they trade forearms, leading to some Dusty punches and a DDT. Rotation is back in, but his crossbody’s turned into a slam by Tempesta for a two-count, before Robinson returned to hit some Danielson-ish elbows for a two-count of his own.
Tempesta’s back to hit a body blow, before Rotation cartwheeled away from Robinson to tag in Kevin. A shoulder block has Lukas down in the corner for some semi-automatic Machine Gun chops, following with some chops to the neck and a Fisherman buster for a near-fall as Tempesta stomped in.
Rotation complains at that, distracting the referee as Tempesta came in and elbowed Kevin. An inside cradle from Kevin nearly nicks it, before some knees to Kevin’s midsection just made him slump to the mat… Kevin sits up, takes a superkick and has to kick out at two, before Robinson came in… Kevin tries to fire back, but gets rolled into a chinlock before another comeback ended with Tempesta hitting a lariat.
Kevin sidesteps a cartwheel clothesline into the corner then tagged out to Rotation who looked to push ahead, hitting a springboard crossbody ahead of a tiltawhirl DDT for a near-fall. A Victory Over Gravity’s stopped by Robinson, allowing Tempesta to come close to the win with a Dragon suplex, while Robinson returned with some cravat knees and a Flatliner for a near-fall.
Alpha Kevin gets the tag in but can’t hit a package piledriver as Robinson spins out… only to get caught with a backfist as Kevin fell on top for the nearest of near-falls… but the ref calls for the bell as it looked like Robinson didn’t get his shoulder up in time. A sudden win, but a good result for the tandem of Kevin and Rotation. **¾
Robert Dreissker took the mic to introduce the next match, telling us about both competitors. He described Oskar as “a blank page in German wrestling,” saying he’d trained with big promotions in Japan and New Zealand… and after five minutes he’d talked the office into skipping Oskar from just doing Academy shows and into putting him on the main shows. Meanwhile, Danny Fray was introduced as someone who just before lockdown struck seemed to be a million miles away from making a debut. Since then, the “middle-aged man” convinced Dreissker enough to make it to a debut, via some backhanded compliments!
Oskar vs. Danny Fray
Of course, Oskar made a big splash two weeks earlier with his debut in Frankfurt, beating Norman Harras…
We start with lockups into the ropes, but it’s Fray who seemed to take the upper hand with a headlock takedown, before the obligatory shove-offs lead to shoulder tackles as Oskar took Fray down. A kick to the back follows, as did a big clothesline into the corner for a two-count, while kicks and stomps kept Fray down.
Fray rolls away from a legdrop and began to make his own comeback, elbowing Oskar away from the corner ahead of a backbreaker and sidewalk slam combo for a near-fall. A piledriver’s blocked by Oskar, who returned with a big boot for a near-fall, while a Michinoku driver got the win. Not quite an extended squash, but this was pretty much a showcase for Oskar. **¾
Jacob Crane vs. Anil Marik
Main event time, as the Polish Crane returned to the Academy shows – having been on the last one before lockdown. He’s facing the “Academy Hero” Anil Mark, who’s had a hell of a time since he graduated two years ago.
Crane powders outside as he was unhappy with how he wasn’t being appreciated by the Essen crowd. It just prompts referee Tassilo Jung to start a count-out, which brings Crane back in… only for him to powder outside as he apparently looked for translation from the German commentary.
That just gets Crane a €20 fine, which keeps increasing as he’ll end up paying to play here at this rate. That finally spurred Crane into action, as he countered a side headlock with some headscissors as Marik just resets with a headlock takedown. Crane takes things to the corner, but doesn’t break cleanly, with Marik then returning with an armdrag, a bodyslam, and another side headlock.
Marik’s taken back into the corner as Crane finally got in a side headlock of his own, leading to Marik pushing free to hit a dropkick, then a leaping forearm into the corner. A Slingblade’s next, but Crane kicks out at two before he tried another cheapshot. That backfires, so Crane rolls outside and almost lost via countout… Marik joins Crane to break the count as the pair fought around ringside.
Returning to the ring, Marik tries to go up top, but gets knocked back to the floor as Crane took advantage. Crane tried to put on a Figure Four back inside, but it’s pushed away as a knee from Crane nearly wins it, before another crack at a Figure Four was again pushed aside. Marik’s knee’s bothering him, even more so as his knee was kicked in the ropes as Crane nearly nicked the win.
Marik escapes a suplex, then flung Crane with a back body drop as he began a comeback, leading to a side suplex for a near-fall… another trip up top allows Marik to hit a crossbody for a near-fall, before Crane went for his Figure Four again, but it ends in the ropes as Crane’s trash-talk just fired up Marik once more, leading to him rolling Crane into a half crab for the quick submission. A little long, but it told a good story with Crane continually trying cheap tricks – only to fall short at the end. **¾
For a trainee show, this was pretty much what you’d expect – some decent wrestling, a little bit of workshopping, and a glimpse at what’s coming down the track in German and European wrestling.