The Fight for Paris came to a head at Studio Jenny, with the final four looking to leave with a new trophy…
Sebastian Hollmichel and Andy Jackson are back on commentary, and we’ve still got that neat little GoPro taped to the ring post that I completely forgot to mention in the night one report. They start by showing us the trophy for the tournament, and then we’re underway…
Fight For Paris – Semi-Final: Marius Al-Ani vs. Aigle Blanc
Al-Ani’s the early aggressor, going for a headlock before a shoulder tackle knocked Aigle down…
Aigle’s back with a ‘rana that’s caught, but al-Ani can’t turn it into anything as Marius was too strong early on. A sunset flip gets a one-count, before a slingshot ‘rana took al-Ani to the outside… as did a dropkick on the apron, as the referee stopped a dive. Why?! Ah, Aigle just hits a tope con giro over the ref’s back anyway. Marius responds by dumping Blanc with a suplex onto the side of the ring, as he turned up the aggression again, rolling Aigle into a Liontamer-ish half crab, following up with a keylock as al-Ani was keeping the eagle grounded. A superkick made sure of it, but Blanc’s able to rebound with a springboard crossbody, then a running Blockbuster…
A Meteora to the back of al-Ani’s head’s next for a near-fall, but Aigle misses a 450 splash and gets caught with a dropkick as the tide quickly turned. Marius responds to a leaping knee with a spinning heel kick, but Aigle’s got a hand to the rope to save the match, before he floated out of a death valley driver… and ran into a powerslam. From there, Marius grabs an ankle lock, throwing in some stomps too, before another rope break saved Aigle.
Marius has to catch Aigle’s outside-in springboard moonsault that’s turned into a tornado DDT… before a 450 splash quickly lands for the win. A decent effort from Aigle Blanc, who overcame the bully al-Ani… but will be going into the final with a bit of an injury, as all good guys tend to! ***
David Starr with a beard plugs his episode of wXw Conversations…
Ahead of the second semi-final, we’ve got a blank spot. Tristan Archer won his match on night one, but picked up a serious injury in doing so. He’s out with a neck brace on, and addresses the crowd… which is where my not knowing French falls down. He introduces his replacement for the tournament: Senza Volto.
Fight For Paris – Semi-Final: David Starr vs. Senza Volto
These two have met before, facing off at the Cockpit for Rev Pro last August, with Starr taking the W there.
Volto charges at him early, but Starr takes him down and into the ropes as the feeling-out process continued. A wristlock from Starr turns into a La Magistral cradle, but Volto quickly kicks out before he got grounded with some headscissors. Senza got free, but flipped off Starr who went for the finger, only to get caught with a ‘rana as Senza faked out a dive… and man, the crack those ropes make when people hit them is a little unnerving.
Back inside, Starr hits a Thesz press before taking Volto onto the apron and dropkicks him off… and we’re on the floor again. Chops follow, including one that Starr took a lap of honour for, before Senza spat at Starr from the apron… and got himself another chop. Then a whole lot more too, until they got back into the ring, where Starr returned that spittle… which woke up Volto, who threw chops of his own.
A handspring back elbow from Senza takes Starr down, as did a Stundog Millionaire as the aggression suddenly turned up again as some forearms helped Starr to another near-fall. More chops follow as Starr resorts to elbows, before a Violence Party in the ropes looked to have Volto out on his feet.The cartwheel/back elbow looked to finish Senza, but he found a second wind… that was quickly put out with a backbreaker. Starr looked for a Cherry Mint DDT, but got dropkicked away as a Golden Triangle moonsault from Volto awaited him on the floor. A 619 in the corner knocks Starr into the buckles ahead of a Code Red attempt, but instead Senza had to make do with a Spanish Fly… then a springboard moonsault for a near-fall.
Starr blocks a lungblower as he caught Volto in a Republican Remorse… and after he trapped the arm Volto tapped out to the ol’ Edgucator. A well-done match, although you know my takes on these one-night tournaments and how they affect these early matches! It’s curious how Starr used a submission here, ahead of Back to the Roots… ***¾
Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) & A-Buck vs. Montero’Salem (Rick Salem & Thiago Montero) & Avalanche
We’ve got a trios match next, and it’s a mix of APC and wXw on each side.
Avalanche starts off by shoving away Maggot, then by tossing him across the ring as the wXw tag team champions weren’t having a good go of it early on. Prince Ahura’s in, and gets a little cocky when it comes to clearing the other apron, but he catches a kick from Ahura before he batted him into the corner, where Montero’Salem were more than happy to take their shots ahead of a back body drop.
Montero’s in to work over Maggot’s arm briefly, before Avalanche clubbed it… as we wash rinse, and repeat on Maggot’s left arm. Things turn around when A-Buck came in as Andy made some random comparison to A-Buck tossing Montero’Salem like they were Amazon deliveries. Why do I get the suspicion he had a damaged parcel arrive before Christmas? The former APC tag champions double-team Buck as they took him down for a two-count, before Salem flew off the top rope with a crossbody that’s caught and turned into a Flatliner. Salem’s a little wobbly, as Ahura tagged in and quickly antagonised Montero and Avalanche, which drew them in to distract the ref as we had the usual heel tactics.
A missed enziguiri from Maggot gives Salem a chance to get free, as Montero tags in… and hits an enziguiri of his own. An elbow rocks Maggot ahead of a Blue Thunder bomb, before Avalanche came in to pick up the pieces, tossing Maggot with a fallaway slam before Montero’s attempt to hit something off the top was thwarted when he was pushed off the top rope. Maggot takes Montero into the opposite corner as the bad guys tried to isolate him, with A-Buck’s suplex getting a two-count before Thiago fought out of a chinlock.
Tassilo Jung’s distracted again as the Bastards hit a double-team suplex on Montero for a near-fall, but again Montero gets free and tagged in Avalanche, who ran wild. A blind tag from A-Buck wasn’t unnoticed as the Bastards got squashed, but they’re back to break up a cover as the ring stayed full… until all six men hit the floor.
Back inside, a full nelson slam from A-Buck dumps Avalanche, but Salem’s crossbody means he can’t capitalise as a Parade of Moves broke out. That turns into dives as Montero’Salem took the Bastards out, while A-Buck caught Avalanche with a spinebuster… only for Christianium Le Surrealiste to appear and distract A-Buck… getting payback for yesterday as Avalanche capitalises with a Dreissker Bomb for the win. A decent trios match, even if it felt a little long… and I do have to appreciate APC making some effort to tie in to their own storylines here with the Buck/Christianium stuff. ***¼
wXw Shotgun Championship: Dick Riviere vs. Julian Pace vs. Christianium Le Surrealiste vs. Jay Skillet (c)
After he refused to defend it in the tournament yesterday, Jay Skillet’s putting the belt on the line here, and Paris are still loving the NYOOOMs here.
Skillet walks out before the bell, but got threatened with disqualification if he didn’t come back – and under wXw’s multi-way rules, that means we’d get a new champion. So under duress, he returns. The early going was all pinning attempts as the three challengers tried to snatch a win. Jay Skillet tries to do a Julian Pace, but he’s more Flintstones than Formula 1 when it came to his rope running, before he got superkicked by the APC lads. Yep, ALL the rope running’s gonna be “NEOOOOW” here.
Christianium dumps Dick with a uranage backbreaker, enough to put any Dick down, before Julian Pace caught Christianium with a shot of his own. Dick’s back with headscissors to Pace, following up with Sole Food as Jay Skillet hit’s Absolute Andy’s A5 for a near-fall. Pace has to evade the APC lads again as he lived up to his name, being all pacy on the way to a double roll-through neckbreaker. Skillet tries to nick another A5 on Pace, but instead broke out some kicks… including one that Christianium caught before he took Jay into the corner. A roll-up from Christianium took Skillet into another kick, before a gamengiri on the apron looked to lead to Christianium going off the top rope… but he’s stopped by Riviere as the Dick jokes began to rise again.
The fitness supplement didn’t quite help Riviere stay erect as he tried for a stacked-up fireman’s carry… he kicks the product away as Pace caught Skillet with a Spanish Fly to start a Parade of Moves. A-Buck’s out to keep the distraction tactics going, while Riviere hits a moonsault to Skillet on the floor. Julian Pace is alone in the ring next, but leaves it pretty quickly with a double-jump body press to the floor before taking Skillet in for a BME.
Except Jay gets his knees up and quickly puts Pace down with a brainbuster for a near-fall… then hit the FTY – a Samoan driver – for the win. A fun four-way, although one that perhaps could have done with being a little longer all told. ***¼
Fight For Paris – Final: Aigle Blanc vs. David Starr
Blanc beat Jay Skillet and Marius al-Ani to get here, while Starr’s route went through Christianium Le Surrealiste and Senza Volto. Interesting how neither man faced anyone from their “home” promotion in the tournament…
Much like he had to done him in the opener, Blanc looked to take Starr down early on, but going to the grappling game perhaps wasn’t the best idea against someone with Starr’s technical background. Still, Aigle held his own early on, taking down Starr with a wristlock, only to get tripped and rolled into a seated surfboard a la Liger. Fluid stuff!
They keep the wrestling going as Starr grabs a running Aigle and takes him down with a waistlock, transitioning into a Muta lock, then a front chancery before Starr looked to bend him into a bow-and-arrow hold. Blanc flips free quickly though, getting a two-count, as Starr opted to try and twist Aigle’s arm out of its socket. Starr keeps the eagle grounded in a chinlock, switching it to a surfboard stretch when he tried to struggle free, but finally Aigle gets to move as he took Starr down with headscissors, then followed in with a low dropkick. A chop follows, stinging Starr, but he needs two goes to rope walk as the multi-jump armdrag is pulled down, with Starr just punting him in the back for good measure.
Chops come back into play as Starr went back to his game plan, following up with… Junkyard Dog-style headbutts?! They knock Aigle to the outside, where he’s kept with some stinging chops as the aggression returned with Starr dictating the pace… but he took too long and found himself accidentally chopping the ring post. Blanc chops back, and manages to take to the air again with a springboard crossbody back inside, before he spun Starr into an enziguiri. A DDT’s blocked, but Blanc takes to the ropes for a springboard missile dropkick for a near-fall, before he caught Starr in an Octopus stretch. Aigle follows up with a Dragon suplex, but Starr retaliates with a German suplex and a low dropkick to take the Eagle outside, following up with a tope that took Blanc into the third row.
Back inside, Starr lands a facebuster on the way to a two-count, before Blanc kicked Starr away in the corner… following up with an apron gamengiri and a springboard Meteora to the back of the neck for another two-count. Starr tries to come back with a Cherry Mint DDT, but it’s Blanc who hits the DDT instead before Starr snapped back hard with a Han Stansen and a Blackheart Buster for a near-fall. Starr shakes his right hand to try and get feeling back in, if only so he can chop Aigle silly, but this time Aigle’s had enough… rising up through the chops before he threw a barrage of shots himself, leading to him just getting obliterated with a lariat. He’s one of his own too as Starr does the Rikishi bump, before a hiptoss/neckbreaker nearly led to the relative upset.
Blanc heads up top and crushes Starr with a 450 splash for a near-fall… Starr rolls outside to recuperate, but instead Blanc hits an Orihara moonsault… then a 450 splash/body press to the outside. A Coast-to-Coast is next, as Blanc was busting out all the high risk stuff, following up with another crushing 450 for a nearer-fall…
Starr catches Blanc with a Cherry Mint DDT as the comeback began, but a dropkick to Blanc in the corner served to just give Starr time. He’s back up as he tries to haul Blanc to the top rope, but the eagle gets free and switched around, only to get dropped with an avalanche Blackheart Buster for a delayed near-fall. HOW?! Another Han Stansen doesn’t get the job done, as Blanc seems to grasp at straws, running in with a Destroyer before a Han Stansen and a Kaepernick finally put him away. They left their best for the final, with Starr and Blanc swinging for the proverbial fences, and while Aigle Blanc was unexpectedly resilient – and adept on the mat – David Starr was just too much for him on this night. ****¼
Considering a lot of fans will have handwaved this double-header, wXw & APC’s double-header was a fantastic pair of shows, with the tournament format working well to produce some cracking matches. The final in particular was spectacular, and gave David Starr his first honours of the year – something you’d expect he’d want to be adding to in the coming 12 months…