By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
With the 17th Anniversary show only just in the bag, the episode of Shotgun today focuses on the recently concluded Fight Forever tour, alongside some promos and interviews spinning out of the happenings from the year ender.
In the initial segment, John Klinger is with the other members of RISE as he proclaims to have destroyed Ilja Dragunov. However, tension is being built between the leader and Pete Bouncer, who currently appears to have an arm injury keeping him out of action. There are some harsh words as Bouncer claims that Klinger is almost protesting too much about his success, without needing to continually make a fuss about it. The segment finishes with the members of RISE doing their one fingered salute, though in a more tentative fashion than before.
Michael Dante has disappeared somewhat from prominence since the break-up of the Sumerian Death Squad but is up against ‘Massive’ Jurn Simmons in the first match of the evening. This is two big, burly men who instantly show their relative hoss-ness by trading shoulderblocks until Simmons mixes it up with a dropkick, only for Dante to show he can do the same moments later. Neither is the best dropkick, but it’s a cute spot nonetheless. Simmons hasn’t turned yet so has the crowd support as he hits a short clothesline and an elbowdrop for a two count.
Dante struggles to match up to Simmons for a substantial period of time, with a suplex his only real offense as Simmons then grabs a very close fall off of a scoop powerslam. The transition to Dante’s control segment is awkward as Simmons seems to collide equally with both his opponent and the turnbuckle. A suplex onto the knee, two clotheslines and a back body drop give Dante his own close fall. It is brief hope for Dante as Simmons hits his running jump kick and a piledriver for the three count. This wasn’t a great match, primarily because Simmons needs a better big man to big guy matches with than Dante. It is just slow and struggles to build momentum.
More importantly, Simmons comments after his turn on David Starr, in which he focuses on the fact that it was to send a message to wXw in general. He also grabs the throat of Dirty Dragan, a man that comes into the room to talk to him, though I’m not quite one hundred percent sure why.
We get more backstage footage of Killer Kelly being greeted by Rafa (I’ll assume boyfriend?) after winning the wXw Women’s Title over Melanie Grey.
Speaking of new champions, Bobby Gunns introduces us to ‘The Smoking Break’, as he shows us highlights of his year, including his defeat of Koji Kanemoto at 16 Carat Gold, Drago at Superstars of Wrestling, as well as his elimination of Matt Riddle from the Shortcut Battle Royal. He calls Kanemoto a ‘pensioner’, Drago ‘a rat in a dragon contest’ and Riddle a ‘UFC hippie’, showing limited respect for all three men. There is no mention of his Shotgun Title victory, so it appears that this might have been filmed before he defeated Ivan Kiev.
Dirty Dragan, the man who Simmons grabbed earlier, is in the ring next as he talks about how he has a style of wrestling that is capable of defeating any man. Clearly played for laughs, with a touch of the Disco Inferno about him, Dragan goes up against Timothy Thatcher, a man who is the essence of no nonsense. Dragan has some early success as he rushes to Thatcher and attacks him with several strikes, as well as catching Thatcher rushing into the corner. It doesn’t take long for Thatcher to catch Dragan and use the gutwrench suplex to begin throwing him around the ring with ease. A double underhook suplex with a floatover into a pin has Thatcher pick up the win without breaking a sweat.
Or so it seems. Dragan is on the microphone before Thatcher can leave, claiming that Thatcher used handfuls of both trunks and hair to win. The challenge is put out there by Dragan – a submission match right away. Once again, the start goes well for Dragan as he locks on a rear naked choke. Thatcher squashes him into the corner, locks on a rear naked choke of his own and forces the tapout. Two wins in very short order.
Could it be more? Dragan is back on the microphone and has a complete meltdown, this time challenging Thatcher to a match you can only win by knockout. Unlike the last time, there is nothing for Dragan this time as he misses a chop off of the second rope and Thatcher lands a jumping kick to the side of the head. Three wins, no messing around, a fun segment.
We get a reminder of matches booked for Back to the Roots XVII on the 20th, with Melanie Grey meeting Session Moth Martina, Killer Kelly defending her title against Toni Storm, and a huge cage match which will see RINGKAMPF and Monster Consulting team up to take on RISE in a no hold barred, submission only contest.
Speaking of Toni Storm, Storm is up next with a brief promo which talks about how Kelly fluked her way to the wXw Women’s Title. At Back to the Roots, she promises to become the deserving holder of the title.
The main event this week has Jay-FK versus Da Mack and Ivan Kiev of RISE. Jay-FK lost to Monster Consulting at the Anniversary Show, whilst Kiev lost his Shotgun title, so both teams are looking to regain some momentum. Da Mack and Jay Skillet start the match off quickly, before Francis Kaspin enters the ring to allow Jay-FK to hit some rapid double team offense that targets both of their opponents. A step-up enziguri by Da Mack halts Kaspin, slowing him down and allowing the members of RISE to cut the ring in half.
After some athletic offense by Kiev including a nip-up to show off, a small package by Kaspin allows him to then tag out, but RISE’s rulebreaking keeps them in control as Kaspin ends up back in the ring and takes an illegal knee from the apron. Da Mack rakes at the eyes and kicks Kaspin off of the turnbuckle as the youngster tries to offer some resistance, with a beautiful butterfly suplex into a butterfly lock keeping Kaspin grounded. Skillet gets knocked off of the apron with a cheapshot as Kiev and Da Mack are completely in control of the match at this point.
The arms and neck of Kaspin continue to be the target as Kiev uses a knee to further exacerbate the pain from a chinlock. Kaspin misses a kick to the head that could have allowed him to make a tag, but the second missed kick, this time on Kaspin, saw him hit a reverse kick to finally make the tag. Skillet comes in with a huge crossbody off of the top, with Jay-FK landing a double foot stomp/neckbreaker for a nearfall. The match soon breaks down following a springboard into a DDT by Kiev as bodies are flying across the ring.
The end is nigh as a jumping spinkick earns Da Mack a two count, only for a miscommunication to see Kiev take Da Mack out with a big boot. Despite spirited resistance from Kiev, Jay-FK hit the spike Michinoku driver for a huge win in a very entertaining main event. This is sold as the biggest win of their tag team careers, and it definitely feels that way.
As a nice way to bookend the show, we have WALTER and Thatcher discussing the upcoming cage match before heading to have words with Monster Consulting, especially as the two teams have fought recently. We are left on something of a cliffhanger as WALTER asks if they can talk and it cuts straight to credits. There is the potential for dissension in both teams heading into a big main event at the end of January.