wXw latest look at the next generation came with some big news for the future of their Academy.

As seems to be the tradition, wXw recorded this show and presented it as a late Christmas present. We start with an announcement from Tassilo Jung, who talked up the history of the wXw academy and the wrestlers who’ve trained and stayed there. Talk turns to how WALTER’s no longer able to be the head coach of the academy, so he’s stepping down… and has found a replacement: Avalanche.

Avalanche jokes that they “found another Austrian”, and while he originally said he’d wrestle until he’s 30, he’s passed that and he’s just getting started. On with the show… and we’ve got English commentary from Rico Bushido and Dirty Dragan!

Brüder des Nordens (Lukas Robinson & Matthias Bernstein) vs. Crowchester & Fynn Freyhart
We’re back to the old-school of overdubbing, and it’s our favourite germophobe!

Freyhart starts with some clubbering on Robinson, who gets free and makes a tag to Bernstein, who instantly has an OCD attack as he needs his antibacterial spray. Freyhart takes offence, so Bernstein tosses away his spray and begins to unload on Fynn. Robinson’s quickly back in to hit a slam, but Frey’s quickly back with a low dropkick before Crowchester got the tag in. A dropkick from Crowchester stops Robinson, as does a lucha-style armdrag, before Crowchester misses a moonsault on the floor. He has better luck with a Quebrada for a near-fall, before Freyhart grounded the explorer Robinson with a hammerlock.

When Lukas looked to get free, Fynn drops him again with an Implant DDT for a near-fall – broken up by Bernstein. Crowchester gets rid of Matthias with a dropkick, while a stunner out of the corner from Freyhart damn near killed Robinson for a near-fall. A goddamn 630 splash from Crowchester should have gotten the win, but he wasn’t legal and by the time he tags in, Bernstein tags in too to clear house. A side slam from Bernstein gets a near-fall on Crowchester, before a dropkick-assisted Flatliner gets the the Brüder the win. A decent opener, although a little short on Crowchester for my liking… **¾

Steffy Sky vs. Baby Allison
Sky’s had a change of name since this, going by Stephanie Maze… and the overdubs end for Baby Allison’s entrance.

Sky’s rocking a MMA/boxer gimmick here, and she’s all in with kicks early on, following in with a suplex to Allison. A kick’s caught, but Sky’s spun around into a spinning heel kick that sent Allison powdering to the outside, but she coaxes Steffi outside for some brawling. Back inside, some kicks from Allison led to ground and mound for a near-fall. An attempted fightback from Sky led to her getting taken into the corner, where she’s caught in the ropes and stomped down, with a stinkface following in the corner. Sky’s pissed at that, and responds with a front kick, then a diving forearm off the middle rope, only for Allison to come straight back with a deadlift Jackhammer. This was okay for what it was, but way too short. **

Anil Malik vs. Avalanche
This was simply advertised as the debut of the new wXw Academy student… and having been there live, I can tell you, Anil has a heck of a fanbase for him already.

Problem was, Anil was starting by being thrown into a frying pan for his first match. Malik tries to go behind Avalanche early on, but he’s easily thrown aside before coming back with a headlock. Avalanche takes him down with a headlock of his own, clinging on before Malik got himself free. The rookie tries to fight back, but misses a forearm in the corner and gets wrecked with a diving shoulder tackle. Clubbing forearms leave Anil down, before a splash in the corner flattened him for a near-fall. Malik avoids a back senton and comes back with some forearms in the corner, but he comes unstuck as he went for a suplex.

Malik gets free again, but he just bounces off Avalanche with a crossbody before he was put away with a fallaway slam and a Dreissker bomb. Very squashy, but Malik showed enough in his debut to suggest that he’s not going to be just squash fodder in 2020 and beyond. **

Post-match, Avalanche picked up Malik and slapped him… playfully.

Andre Cartier’s out to ask for a chance to prove that he deserves to be in the ring. He’s had chances before, but regardless of the situations he lost – and he’s not won here since 2016, before Cartier was a thing! Anyway, Andre vows to destroy whomever comes out next. Except it’s Mike Schwarz.

Andre Cartier vs. Mike Schwarz
Cartier instantly powders when Schwarz went for a jump scare… but it worked as Cartier gets a superkick off the apron before he tried to choke out Mikey. That didn’t work. Schwarz takes Cartier into the ring post, then hit a clothesline back inside as a pair of chokeslam attempts were escaped. Andre hits a running knee into the corner, but quickly gets kicked down before a chokeslam finished off the fashion plate of the wXw academy. Thanks for coming, Andre!

After the match, referee Rainer Ringer gets in the Christmas spirit with a gaudy Christmas jumper and shares some beers with Schwarz.

Vincent Heisenberg vs. Goldenboy Santos
Santos is looking like an early-day Razor Ramon when it comes to the amount of gold he’s wearing around his neck.

From the opening lock-up, Santos is taken into the corner by Heisenberg, before a spot of shoving led to Santos going for shoulder tackles… only to get charged down as Heisenberg was finding his mark. A slam keeps Santos down as he rolls to the outside, which led to some strikes on the floor… Heisenberg stops himself chopping the ring post, but Santos couldn’t as the Hamburg native kept control. In the ring, Santos snuck in a poke to the eye before he twanged the rope in Heisenberg’s eye… and that’s some sneaky offence as the Portuguese native forced a way in. A trip into the corner leads to some ground and pound from Santos, before a right hand almost got him the win. Santos humiliated Heisenberg with a crotch chop, and was made to pay quickly as a suplex dropped Santos for a near-fall.

Heisenberg comes close again with a Michinoku driver, only to get caught out with a superkick as Santos began to find a second wind, absorbing a German suplex before the pair traded forearms on the way to a Blue Thunder bomb from Heisenberg. All of a sudden, some randomer appears on the apron to distract the referee – Dragan quickly identifies him as Feyyaz Aguila, and the distraction masks the ref from a low blow as Santos scored the win with a roll-up. It’s gonna be hard to not call him “Mister Aguila”, as it looks like these two are gonna be paired on Academy shows. This was fine, but could have done being a little pacier. **¾

Post-match, Santos lays into Heisenberg some more, before Aguila took the mic and complained about how his role in wXw so far has been a dogsbody at the Academy. He’s fed up with not getting a chance… and passed that onto Santos, who wasn’t even on the last Academy show. They’re here to take their chances – whether they’re offered or not.

Joel Vox, Joshua Amaru & Paris Ballis vs. Johnny Evers, Levaniel & The Rotation
Trios action next, as Levaniel’s ditched his gold jacket for this Academy show… and has brought signs and a friend to spread the message of love.

Dragan tells us Joel Vox’s former partner, Rami Romeo, has retired, as I keep mishearing Joel’s surname for a very naughty word. Before the match, Paris threw his ring jacket at Johnny Evers… so Rotation just grabs it and threw it on a mezzanine in the Academy. It’s now part of wXw’s stock… We get going with Evers landing a hiptoss on Paris, before he just charged through a leapfrog attempt. More shoulder tackles from Evers keep Paris down, as he proceeded to catch a leapfrog and turn it into a slam for a near-fall, before tags brought in Levaniel and Amaru… who seemed to be borrowing one of Francis Kaspin’s old shirts for the day.

Levaniel works a wristlock, but a forearm breaks it up. He wants to wear his sunglasses, but Vox just throws some knees as commentary took some digs on his physique. Paris is back in to hit a PK on Levaniel for a near-fall, before he lifted him up for a bridging suplex. Amaru’s back to put the boots to Levaniel in the corner, as the Prince of the Stars was having a tough time in there. Vox hits a STO for a near-fall on Levaniel, but Levaniel eventually gets free and tags in Evers, with the Dutchman going wild on his opponents with clotheslines. Elbows follow, before he sidestepped a cartwheel from Paris… and here comes Rotation, booting Amaru before he went up top. He has to cartwheel down before dropping Vox with a dropkick, as Paris attacks from behind.

The Parade of Attacks from Behind continue as nobody learns, while Levaniel came in with his sunglasses. A reverse STO’s next, while Rotation saves his balance and hits a 450 splash for the win. Decent stuff, with Evers having some good fire, but it’s clear Levaniel is the star they’re working on here. ***

Grup Anarsi (Abdul Kenan & Aytac Bahar) vs. Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura)
This is obviously non-title, and weirdly the Pretty Bastards are somewhat cheered in Essen. It’s billed as the main event (which means Norman Harras & Georges Khoukaz is cut off the VOD), as Dirty Dragan goes in with his shoot name as he talked about Grup Anarşi.

This was the academy debut for Kenan and Bahar, who’ve made a name for themselves in Berlin’s GWF, and we start with Prince Ahura stinging Bahar with kicks to the leg. Bahar tries to fight back, but he’s switched into the corner and caught with a chop as Ahura followed in with a kick to the back of the head… then a running kick on ropes for Kenan. Bahar capitalises with a kick from behind as Grup Anarşi took over with stomps. Kenan’s wristlock gives Ahura something to fight out of… which he did before rolling through to tag in Maggot. An atomic drop gives Kenan something to worry about, along with a modified Angle slam for a near-fall.

Kenan swings some forearms as he took Maggot into the corner, with Bahar returning to put the boots to him. Maggot hits back with a back body drop, as Ahura tagged in to lift up Maggot for a kick to Bahar to put the champions back on top. Ahura’s almost Cossack dancing as he circled Bahar with kicks, which led to a near-fall. Ahura stops himself in the ropes as he seemed to think Kenan was trying to low bridge him to the floor. Kenan’s more obvious when he grabs Ahura’s leg as the distraction eventually came off, allowing the Berliners into the match, sandwiching Ahura with duelling PKs for a near-fall. Forearms from Kenan weaken Ahura a little more as Bahar returned to throw uppercuts as Grup Anarşi exchanged frequent tags on the way to a double-team STO for a near-fall.

Ahura tries to fight back out of the corner, but another double-team has him down for a near-fall. Bahar knocks Maggot off the apron, but Ahura eventually clocks Grup Anarşi with head kicks… then got free to tag in a somewhat fresh Maggot. Gamengiri from the apron have Maggot back in it, as does a crossbody off the top, before a spear dropped Kenan for a near-fall. Aytac Bahar’s skulking around ringside and pulls Ahura off the apron as he proceeds to throw him into a locker. Grup Anarşi try to push on, but a cutter from Maggot drops Kenan for a near-fall, with Bahar pulling him out of the ring to save the match, as the Berliners try to double-team Maggot some more.

Ahura makes a save from what looked to be a curb stomp, throwing out Bahar as some kicks to Kenan set up for the FFM double-team butterfly powerbomb… and that’s enough for the Bastards to win. A solid main event, although there were some wacky spots… but you’ve got to expect that on academy shows. ***

For a “trainee show” – a phrase that I know is a bit of a dirty word – this was a fun few hours of wrestling live. On VOD, Rico and Dragan worked really well on commentary, with Dragan reining in Rico while providing some good insight – I’m not sure whether Dragan is able to do this more frequently or not, but if he’s willing and if wXw isn’t looking to use him in the ring, he’s be a solid colour commentator for these shows. The show didn’t outstay its welcome, and gave you some insights into the potential future of wXw and the wider scene. If you’re ever in the Essen area when these academy shows are running, drop on by for a Sunday afternoon of graps – there’s worse ways to spend €6, that’s for sure!