wXw returned to their academy for the second episode of their Wrestling Academy Live series, featuring a battle royal in the main event.
Jacob Crane pinned Danny Fray in 5:47 (**)
Alpha Kevin pinned Tempesta in 8:26 (**½)
Ricky Sky pinned Darius in 9:23 (**¾)
Echo & Kilo pinned Cody & Joey in 8:16 (**¼)
Oskar pinned Yuval Goldshmit in 6:42 (**¾)
Norman Harras pinned Elijah Blum in 7:41 (**¾)
Gaya Glass pinned Diana Strong in 5:21 (**¼)
Robert Dreissker & Anil Marik pinned Don Sheen & Alex Duke in 14:37 (***¼)
Oskar wins a battle royal in 10:08 (**¾)
— You can watch this one for free on wXw’s YouTube page…
We’re back at the wXw Wrestling Academy in Essen, with Dään Jokisch hosting… today’s main event is a battle royal for a shot at the Academy Cup, currently held by Goldenboy Santos, so our undercard is qualifying matches for that main event. Commentary is in German, and it comes from Sebastian Hollmichel…
Danny Fray vs. Jacob Crane
We’ve got a mix of “live” and dubbed music here, and the unusual sight of a seated crowd in the Academy…
Crane gets a rather unfriendly reaction from the crowd, with one guy in particular having a bad first impression of the Pole. Posing didn’t help win him over. We start with Fray making Crane back away, as Jacob tried to stick and move… when he finally got going, Crane chops away at Fray, only to get slammed instead.
Going for the eyes gives Crane an opening as he grabbed a chinlock before a series of kicks kept Fray on the deck. An attempted back cracker out of the corner’s blocked by Fray, who returned with Biel throws and a suplex before a Black Hole Slam nearly got the win. Crane escapes a slam and finally hits his back cracker… and that’s enough for the win! Surprisingly short as Crane’s big move managed to get the job done. **
Tempesta vs. Alpha Kevin
The beast-like Tempesta nearly wipes out the set on his entrance, while Alpha Kevin’s brought out his RINGKAMPF scarf. I mean, I guess there’s nobody left to accept or refuse his membership request…
The pair have a staredown as we open with a battle of elbow strikes and chops, which led to Dusty punches from Kevin and an eventual DDT. An early attempt at the package piledriver is fought out of as Tempesta waffles Kevin with a clothesline before some elbows to the head and neck left Kevin on all fours.
Firing up, Kevin’s quickly knocked back down as Tempesta then pulled him into a Dragon sleeper, before Kevin got back in with a snapmare and a kick for a one-count. Tempesta kicks Kevin back down as tempers flared… particularly Tempesa’s temper! A shoulder tackle from Kevin keeps him in it, as did some semi-automatic Machine Gun chops before the ref called for a separation.
Instead, Kevin aims the chops to the neck, then hit a Fisherman buster for a near-fall, before a wicked lariat off the ropes set up Kevin for another crack at the package piledriver… but Tempesta escaped and hit a clothesline again, before a double stomp targeted the thigh. A Stretch Muffler’s next, but Kevin’s able to make it to the ropes.
Palm strikes from Tempesta are followed up with a headbutt before Kevin fought his way back in, finally hitting the package piledriver for the win. This was good for what it was, with Kevin teases his finish but being made to withstand Tempesta’s assault to get there. **½
Ricky Sky vs. Darius
Ricky’s got a heck of a moustache, one that reminds me of the late Big Bully Busick.
The opening lock-up leads to a battle over a wristlock, with Darius (nolastname) eventually scoring with a Mouse Trap pin for just a one-count. Armdrags keep Darius ahead, before a trip up top ended with Sky knocking the Austrian to the floor. Sky followed him outside, so he could post him, before a headlock takedown back inside kept Darius on the deck.
A Randy Orton-esque powerslam lands for a two-count for Sky, as stomps keep Darius in trouble. Darius boots Sky out of the corner, then went for a springboard crossbody… but Sky dropkicks him in mid air for a near-fall. Elbow drops are next for Sky, who begins to rake away at Darius’ nose for the hell of it.
That earns Ricky a €40 fine for what amounted to him picking Darius’ nose, as the Austrian came back with an enziguiri, then some back elbows, before a Fisherman suplex nearly won it. A cross armbreaker from Darius followed, but Sky rolled up and powerbombed his way free, only to get pulled into a triangle armbar that he manages to get free of.
Darius threw a spinning heel kick to keep him ahead, before a trip up top ended with Sky shoving the ref into the ropes. Leaping down in time, Darius avoids being crotched, but he gets low blowed as the referee was down, before a Blue Thunder bomb gets Ricky the win. Pretty good for the time, with a nice change to the usual “shove the ref into the ropes” cheating to lead to the finish. **¾
Projekt Justitia (Echo & Kilo) vs. Die Draufgänger (Cody & Joey)
According to Google Translate, that translates to “the Go Getters” as Cody and Joey made their Academy show debut… while Echo and Kilo return after their win last time out.
Echo and Joey started, with tie-ups into the corner… some playful slaps from Joey brought in Kilo and Cody as things flared up, but it’s the Draufgänger who enjoyed the early advantage, double-teaming Echo until a blind-tag brought in Kilo, whose back suplex bounced Joey to the mat.
Kilo clubs at Joey’s back as he’s isolated, leading to a legdrop from Echo for a two-count, while Kilo took an opportunity to throw in some cheapshots as Cody inadvertently distracted the ref. A tag brings Kilo back in as he hit a gut shot, as Echo then rolled Joey into a guillotine as Kilo kicked the back. It’s effective double-teaming, but Justitia almost lose Joey as he dived for a tag… before Kilo ragdolled him with German suplexes.
Cody dives across the turnbuckle to give Joey a lighter bump as he’s whipped into them… and it’s enough to help Joey make the hot tag out after he hit a double DDT. Kilo was too late in pulling Cody off the apron as Cody came in… then quickly tagged back out to Joey… who seemingly tagged himself back out as a Hart Attack off the middle rope led to confusion over who the legal man was.
Joey gets a two-count before Justitia hit straight back with a double-team – a suplex into a powerslam – and that’s enough for the riot police to get the win. This was fine, but that closing stretch felt a little too clever – and it ended up costing the Draufgängers dear. **¼
Yuval Goldshmit vs. Oskar
Oskar’s coming into this having recently been handed his first loss in wXw… and I fear for Yuval here!
Goldshmit powders to the outside at the bell, where Oskar eventually gives chase before he Biel’d him in the ring. A bodyslam’s next, then an armdrag as Yuval again scurried outside. Again, Oskar gives chase, chokeslamming him onto the apron, before a missed clothesline looked to give Yuval an opening.
Ah, nevermind, he can’t quite trip Oskar and pull him outside, but had more luck with an eye rake and a springboard clothesline as Oskar was put on the defensive. A DDT to the leg keeps Oskar down, as did some chops, before Oskar chopped his way back into things. Goldshmit’s low dropkick stopped Oskar in the hunt for a clothesline, before Oskar finally found a way through with elbow strikes.
Oskar caught a kick, then backflipped Yuval into a clothesline for a near-fall, before Yuval slipped out of a slam and chop block’d the knee. A back body drop from Oskar’s flipped out of, but he’s quickly back in with a knee, before the Michinoku driver got the win. They packed a lot in here, with Goldshmit having a plan… but Oskar was just too much for him on this night as we got our final qualifier for the battle royal. **¾
The Rotation’s introduced next – he’s on the injured list after injuring his wrist late last year… he’s here to introduce another debuting wrestler from the Academy in Elijah Blum.
Elijah Blum vs. Norman Harras
Norman stopped to pose for photos on his way to the ring…
The former Shotgun champion took Blum to the corner with a lock-up – then gave him a mocking applause on the break. A side headlock’s escaped as Blum traded holds with Norman, before he stopped himself coming off the ropes as Harras laid in wait. Harras works the arm in response, but was put on the back foot with some armdrags as he was taken into the corner.
Blum followed up with a charge, but got lifted to the apron before he headed back in… and got booted down for a two-count. An elbow drop followed for a two-count, as a shoulder tackle kept the debutant down for some knee drops. Norman goes up top for a knee off the middle rope, but a sunset flip from Blum gave him an opening as Harras nearly lost.
A swift clothesline has Blum back down for a near-fall, before he tried some of his own. Norman’s taken into the corner with a dropkick, as a neckbreaker from Blum keeps him in front, but a missed Spiral Tap opened the door for Norman to come right back with a diving uppercut for the win. A solid debut for Blum, who’s got a lot to learn it seems! **¾
Gaya Glass vs. Diana Strong
It’s a return for Glass, who lost to Yuval Goldsmidt last time out… with the Israeli taking on a newcomer in Diana Strong here.
From the opening lock-up, Strong took things to the corner for a break, before Glass returned the favour. The pair trade side headlocks before Strong threw off Glass, then returned with a squatting Fireman’s carry. Glass rolls her way free for a two-count, with Strong returning the favour before a head kick and a leg sweep took her down.
A cartwheel splash from Glass nearly wins it, as Strong returned to suplex Glass into the corner. Glass pulls Strong back for a near-fall, then pushed her down for another two-count, before Strong’s backbreaker and shotgun dropkick led to a near-fall for the Pole. The pair trade elbows from there, but it’s Glass who pulls ahead, only to get shattered with a Samoan drop for a near-fall. Strong tries for a second one, but Glass escapes and sweeps her down to the mat and ends up snatching the win in what was an even – but brief – outing. **¼
Posterboys (Alex Duke & Don Sheen) vs. Team wXw Wrestling Academy (Anil Marik & Robert Dreissker)
A couple of weeks removed from the Käfigschlacht, Marik and Dreissker are back in action against some more newcomers, with Don Sheen and Alex Duke liking their fizz.
Duke and Dreissker start, with Dreissker pushing Duke back from the opening tie-up. Don Sheen tries in vain to get a “Duke” chant going, before Dreissker just bulldozed through Duke with a shoulder tackle as he then went to work on the arm. A rake of the eyes got Duke free as Don Sheen tagged in… and also got charged down.
Sheen’s back with a side headlock before a fight for a suplex ended with Dreissker snapping Sheen back. Shoulder charges in the corner lead to Marik tagging in, as he lands a leaping forearm and a bulldog for a two-count, while an armbar followed on the deck, with Marik looking to control proceedings.
A side headlock from Sheen got him back in it, as did a series of shoulder tackles, sending Marik to the outside before Anil came back with some armdrags and a dropkick. Those are good for a two-count, as Dreissker returned to help with a pair of back elbows, then with a side headlock as he kicked away Alex Duke’s hand that was looking for a tag.
Dreissker slingshot Duke into the ring for the hell of it, but that just gave the Posterboys an easy double-team attempt before Duke tagged himself in properly. Mudhole stomping follows in the corner as Sheen and Duke exchanged rapid tags, before Dreissker fought his way free, landing a leaping shoulder block as he got his way out to Marik in the corner.
A quick Slingblade nearly wins it for Marik, who then went up top… but slipped during his climb, as Duke instantly pounced. Dreissker protests, which just distracts the ref as some double-teaming occurred behind his back. Marik fights back, elbowing Sheen off the apron, before an O’Connor roll nearly put Duke away.
From the kick-out, Sheen clocks Marik as the Posterboys took over once again, with Sheen’s leaping back elbow nearly causing an upset. A Fisherman buster from Sheen adds another near-fall to the mix, before Sheen elbowed Dreissker in the corner. That angers the Austrian as a Magic Killer behind the ref’s back nearly gets the win, before Marik fought back on Sheen’s attempt at a submission, pushing him to the outside before he made the tag to Dreissker.
Alex Duke failed to stop the tag and was immediately cowering as Dreissker blasted him with a pair of clotheslines and a back body drop. A Stinger splash and a fallaway slam is next, but Sheen’s legal – not Duke… and Duke rolling outside took Dreissker’s attention. Sheen made sure Dreissker focused on him, biting on Dreissker’s arm before he was met with a clothesline.
Duke breaks the pin as Dreissker nearly won with a death valley driver… a spear takes care of Duke as he interfered again, before Don Sheen was slammed and met with a Dreissker Bomb for the win. This was a pretty good tag match, with Sheen and Duke working well as foils here, but in the end the former tag champions were too strong. ***¼
The winner of this gets a shot at Goldenboy Santos’ Academy cup. Everyone who won in the first half qualified for this – so we’ve got Jacob Crane, Ricky Sky, Oskar, Alpha Kevin, Echo and Kilo as a part of this… plus another debut in Mayeck, and the surprise appearance of Feyyaz Aguila.
Everyone pairs off to start, with Echo and Kilo originally going after Mayeck before they refocused on Oskar. The only real pairings to start were Project Justitia – as you’d expect – with alliances forming and breaking as Jacob Crane tried to hide on the apron. Dusty punches from Kevin have Kilo in trouble, not helped by an errant splash from Echo, before Kevin’s chops took over.
Kevin tries to throw Kilo out, but he lands on the apron before Echo tossed Kevin for our first elimination. Echo and Kilo go next – at the same time – as everyone ganged up on them… before Aguila was thrown onto the apron by Ricky Sky. Feyyaz walked up the wall to avoid an elimination, but ended up getting suplexed for it.
After everyone tried for eliminations, Mayeck broke free with a big boot before Sky was thrown into the corner… and took a wacky bump off as he sprung off the buckles. There’s a sidewalk slam for Mayeck for Oskar, but Mayeck’s quickly dumped out by Oskar as he reversed an elimination attempt.
Our last four are Oskar, Crane, Feyyaz and Sky… Oskar and Sky take turns impressing each other with slams as they used Crane as a human tackling dummy. Feyyaz gets a slam in too, which the crowd ate up… but Feyyaz got lifted over the top rope by Crane, before Sky knocked him to the floor.
Sky and Oskar trade shoulder tackles from there before Sky got thrown over the top… he low bridges Oskar onto the apron with him as the pair trade strikes. Oskar goes for Sky’s fingers as Crane kicked the moustachioed one off the apron with a low blow, before a dropkick looked to knock Oskar off the apron… but he just booted Crane through the ropes.
A low blow from Crane stopped Oskar in his tracks, but Crane’s hurled over the top rope, then clotheslined him to the floor as Oskar earned his shot at Santos’ Academy cup. **¾
This was a card with plenty going on – but with none of the matches outlasting their welcome and provided a welcome outing for everyone. That wXw is able to hold academy/trainee shows with some frequency is a welcome sight in these times – and, in tandem with the move to a new facility in Gelsenkirchen, the renewed focus on the next generation can only be a positive for the future. These aren’t cards you’ll be getting the star ratings on, but they’re definitely the sort of breeding ground that the next crop of stars need.