By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
wXw Shotgun 17th January
With Back to the Roots only three days away, this is the last Shotgun on the road to the event which means we see a lot of promotional footage for the show on this episode. However, we do also get three matches that showcase the best and brightest in wXw talent.
Leading off are Jay FK versus the team of Cash Crash and Oliver Carter, a team who have been making waves in Switzerland. In the opening exchanges, they are decidedly second best to Jay FK as we get stereo bum dropkicks in the corner and a quick fire combination that ends with Kaspin hitting a basement dropkick on Crash for 2. A blind tag to Carter allows the heels to take over with a Lionsault, before we get some standard cutting the ring in half tactics.
Carter hits a beautiful cravat/fisherman back suplex (best way I can describe it), but Kaspin eventually slips out of a back suplex attempt, dropkicks Carter and Crash into each other and makes the tag. Skillet is a good hot tag as he lands a crossbody, springboard back elbow and neckbreaker in quick succession, though the double foot stomp/neckbreaker combination only earns them a two count. Crash and Carter land their own, decidedly more akward, double team manoeuvre as we see an assisted Fameasser, but it isn’t long before Jay FK grab the win with the spike Michinoku driver. A quick and lively opener that was entertaining but relatively brief.
A post-match segment has Skillet talking about the progress wXw has seen as a promotion since he has been out with injury, whilst Kaspin promises to make 2018 their year. Jay FK will take on Pretty Bastards as the warm up match at BttR.
We get a brief promo with David Starr in which he talks about Jurn Simmons stabbing him in the back. At 16 Carat, Starr lays down the challenge to meet Simmons in the first round in a Knockout only match. I guess we will wait to see whether wXw and Simmons choose to accept that request.
Chris Colen takes on Kim Ray in our second match and uses his size advantage early on to send Ray to the outside with a huge shoulderblock. Colen’s offense is very no frills as he gets a lot of cheers for milking some turnbuckle smashes. When the match heads to ringside, Ray manages to take advantage of Colen being slow to get back into the ring to take control with a dropkick that sends Colen off of the apron, turning the tide. Colen has several brief spurts of offense, but Ray uses his experience to keep control, whilst also arrogantly teasing a kneedrop and causally wiping his foot on Colen’s face. Colen does eventually fire back with a crossbody off the top and a top rope elbowdrop for 2, yet it is Ray who seems to be closest to winning after a big knee leaves Colen in a crumpled heap on the mat. However, Colen shrugs off a superkick, hitting a urganage and the Angel’s Wings for the three count. Nothing special, but gives Colen momentum going into a match at BttR against Da Mack.
The montages begin as this point as we see both Jurn Simmons and Dirty Dragan’s fall out, as well as Session Moth Martin’s feud with Melanie Grey. Coming off the back of these videos, Christian Jakobi and WALTER have a discussion about the Women’s division, with WALTER hilariously running through the main wrestlers as a rookier (Killer Kelly), the snow queen (Grey), not even an athlete (Martina) and the best women’s wrestler in the world (Toni Storm). Jakobi promises the division will be sorted out after the matches at BttR, with this interview all bookended by both men looking into an empty fridge for no apparent reason.
Before the main event match between Absolute Andy and Juvenile X, we see a Killer Kelly and Toni Storm video that focuses on Kelly’s journey from Portugal to Germany and her subsequent victory in the finals to crown the wXw Women’s Champion.
The whole of Andy versus X plays out like the beatdown Andy gave Marius Al-Ahni at 17th Anniversary, pretty much, with Andy enjoying the abuse from the crowd as he knocks X around the ring with a big boot, shoulderblock, tiltawhirl backbreaker and a normal backbreaker. This is all played against a backdrop of Andy trying to land the F5, which he does twice, though an attempt to take it to the top turnbuckle fails as X fights out. X manages to fight back at this point with a top rope dropkick amongst a couple of other moves, but Andy drops him once more with the F5. As it looks like Andy is set to toy with X some more, Al-Ahni comes out of the crowd to distract his former partner. No punches or kicks are thrown, but the distraction allows X to roll up Andy for the shock defeat. A fun beatdown with a good surprise ending.
In a simple, yet effective, finish to the show, we have Karsten Beck talking about the cage match at BttR with three other crew members, with his discussion about the safety, danger and the necessary cleaning post-match a simple way to get over how violent it will be. We end with the same montage as last week which looks at RISE versus RINGKAMPF and Monster Consulting, with the focus very much being on the Avalanche’s success over the past two matches inside the cage.
A fun episode of Shotgun – they are three for three since I’ve been watching – and Back to the Roots looks like it is a good card with a potentially excellent main event.