By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
Having been left on a cliffhanger last week, we return to wXw Shotgun with a recap of RISE threatening to explode in the ring whilst RINGKAMP’s music hits the PA system.
WALTER has the microphone and says he is here to stop the story time with RISE. WALTER is clear that he always loves coming back here after journeys to places like the UK and the US, but on his travels, people always ask about other wXw wrestlers, never RISE. Having made John Klinger tap at Back to the Roots, WALTER makes the challenge – he will face the winner of John Klinger versus Mike Bailey at 16 Carat Gold! This also sets up a huge main event this episode as WALTER and Timothy Thatcher meet Klinger and Da Mack, alongside a Toni Storm versus Melanie Grey match for the wXw Women’s Championship.
After a brief promo with Storm in which she promises to beat Grey sideways, Bobby Gunns is out first, cigarette in hand, as he heads to the ring to address his opponent weaselling out of a Shotgun Title match this evening. This allows Gunns to offer up an open challenge, one accepted by Dirty Dragan! Dragan is going to face an uphill battle, but he does match Gunns initially with some wrestling holds and an unceremonious boot to the face followed by something akin to the People’s Elbow. Gunns finds himself thrown to ringside and subjected to a Dragan chop off of the apron as the match starts off more competitive than he might have expected. However, a kick to the middle rope crotches Dragan as he heads back into the ring and allows the champion to take over.
Dragan tries to fight back off of the canvas with punches, only to get dumped with a European uppercut. Guns targets the leg with a submission, pulling a double bicep pose to show how in control he is. Multiple strikes and an armbar in the ringropes after getting back body dropped onto the apron has Gunns looking for a move off of the top, only to get hit with a superplex for a nearfall. A backslide by Gunns gets no count at all, but allows him to hit a running kick to the arm. This only seems to fire up Dragan as he lands two clotheslines, yet a second rope chop misses and allows Gunns to lock a submission on in the center of the ring to retain his gold.
Gunns isn’t finished, as he calls for the ‘stuck up prick’ to join him. Be careful what you wish for; Absolute Andy attacks him from behind and hits a sitout dominator, stepping on the champion and holding the Shotgun title aloft before leaving. A fun enough opening, helped by Dragan’s underdog status that made a victory unlikely but his offense enjoyed by the crowd.
Backstage, Thatcher is talking to Jay-FK and he ends up pitching the idea for a potential tag team title match further down the line. Whilst Francis Kaspin is happy with this idea, Jay Skillet suggests that Thatcher might be suggesting that because he sees them as easy opponents down the line. This doesn’t please Thatcher, nor Kaspin for that matter, as the partners have a brief argument after the tag champion leaves. It does end up with RINGKAMPF versus Jay-FK finding its way onto the Dead End card in what should be a good clash of styles. Following a rundown of the full card, Thatcher is with WALTER complaining about Skillet. WALTER somewhat defends Skillet, though does suggest he has somewhat of a chip on his shoulder. This is until Thatcher mentions Skillet thinking they were only chosen as ‘easy opponents’, which leads to WALTER suggesting he will go and talk to them.
Considering her actions saw her pilloried by Christian Jakobi, Melanie Grey is in a title match against Toni Storm more by luck than judgement it seems, especially as she lost to Session Moth Martina at Back to the Roots. The women start by trading holds, with Storm coming out on top and easing her way back to her feet as it looks like she might be under duress. Storm offers a handshake, only to pull it away to the delight of the fans, although this does annoy Grey and see her take control with a cravat and a punch to the back of the head. A snapmare is followed by a big knee to the back, but Storm fires back with a huge kick to the face. Storm no-sells a chop before dropping Grey with a two handed chop and several butts to the face for a two count.
Grey isn’t out of it yet though, hitting Storm coming off of the ropes with a spear. The two women end up trading strikes in the middle of the ring, but Grey wins out with two consecutive uses of the kitchen sink knee to the stomach, before gaining a nearfall after a Finlay roll and a rolling senton. After some fighting on the top turnbuckle, Storm pulls Grey down to the canvas and hits a running butt bump into the corner. A fisherman’s suplex earns the champ a two count, but Storm also gets caught on the top rope and dumped to the canvas, allowing Grey to lock in the Melodrama. Storm reaches the rope to break the hold and fires back with a release German suplex, the perfect set-up for her Strong Zero piledriver. Grey has been defeated, though I’m surprised they gave her (and aired) a title shot so early on in what could have been an interesting storyline of her trying to fight her way back to the top.
Perhaps my concerns were unfounded as Grey attacks Storm after the belt, only to be halted by Killer Kelly. This in turn brought out Veda Scott, though any assault on Kelly was brief as Storm returned the favour.
Ivan Kiev is backstage with Klinger and he proposes the stable has a heart to heart, especially as he agrees with Pete Bouncer that they are no longer the most dominant team in wXw. Klinger may have the gold, but no-one else around him down. Kiev talks about sorting it out before Dead End before leaving; Klinger never says a word.
After a brief segment with Julian Pace talking to a man called Mickey who I don’t know – about how Pace is no longer a rookie – we have the huge main event between RINGKAMPF and RISE. Klinger and Da Mack jump WALTER and Thatcher before the bell, but Da Mack ends up getting blasted with a huge chop from WALTER to counteract any advantage the heels gain. A blind tag allows Klinger to hit a slingshot spear to regain control for his team, though WALTER’s chops are always dangerous. Bouncer gets on the apron to allow Klinger to rake WALTER’s eyes, but a double suplex attempt is reversed in an impressive feat of strength. Klinger collides with Bouncer on the apron, allowing Thatcher to get the tag and lay waste to RISE en masse.
A karelin lift by Thatcher and a vertical splash by WALTER lead to a nearfall, whilst the trading of dropkicks by Klinger and WALTER is comprehensively won by the tag team champion. Thatcher is ferocious with several knees to the gut on Bad Bones, but Klinger escapes a sleeper attempt. Thatcher is caught by Bouncer who rips away at the bandage on Thatcher’s ear, re-opening the wound from Back to the Roots. A codebreaker off of the second rope followed by a top rope forearm from Da Mack have RISE in control, but Thatcher blocks a Mack cutter attempt, lands enziguris on both opponents and tags out.
The ref has lost control as WALTER takes the fight to both members of RISE as he hits a double clothesline and German suplexes on both men. Da Mack uses his athleticism to get a two count with a springboard dropkick off of the top, but a German suplex shortly afterwards sends Da Mack flying across the ring. Another blind tag helps RISE as Mack is hit with a powerbomb but Klinger goes straight into the Rebel Lock. Bouncer has a hold of Thatcher at ringside and after some reversals almost see WALTER lock on the sleeper, the tag champion eventually taps to the Rebel Lock! A huge shock – WALTER isn’t a man who taps often. RISE needed to make a statement and that is exactly what they have achieved.
To finish, we see more footage of Lucky Kid and Tarkan Aslan, with Aslan seemingly confirming long term damage that may keep him out of the ring for some time.
A big episode with some important matches. With RISE due to meet for clear the air talks, a huge win over the tag team champions is the right way to suggest that nothing is wrong and they can still be the imposing power they once were. More importantly, Klinger has shown that he has what it takes to beat WALTER, his probable opponent at 16 Carat Gold.