By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
With Dead End just around the corner, we have one more trip to wXw Shotgun before our last big stop on the way to 16 Carat in March. What I will say first – an odd thing to compliment, perhaps – but I admire that wXw has no compunction to make the Shotgun show a uniform time. Last weeks was fifty minutes; this week sees only thirty six. That they are happy to provide the content they deem necessary to showcase the stars, further the angles and advertise the bigger shows and not pad it out for no reason is definitely laudable.
Tarkan Aslan’s status is still up in the air as we see him and Lucky Kid standing around near a five-a-side football pitch as Kid continues to progress his innocence about what happened. Aslan lists the various ways he is suffering at the moment, but does give Kid one nugget of hope – he will be his manager to continue to support him.
After Veda Scott jumped Killer Kelly last week, the two women face off in the first match on the show. Scott is dismissive early on of Kelly, only to take a big kick to the face and a running forearm in the corner. Scott isn’t shy when it comes to breaking the rules, which we see as an eye rake halts Kelly’s early momentum and a back rake is used to further raise her ire. A submission that is akin to full nelson but with Scott’s legs almost sees Kelly get the pin as it ends in a pinning combination, but it does inspire a Kelly comeback as she lands a northern lights and a German suplex for two.
A missed charge by Kelly sees Scott back in control, cemented with a second rope clothesline and an ace crusher for a nearfall. Scott this time looks for a submission with an inverted Boston crab, but Kelly is able to make the ropes to break the hold. Some reversals on an Irish whip end up with Scott landing a spear, only to miss a shining wizard. An awkward looking small package isn’t enough for Kelly to grab the win, but a roll-up does manage to keep Kelly’s shoulders on the mat for three and Scott is the winner.
With Scott picking up a victory, she is added to the four way for the wXw Women’s Championship – Toni Storm defending against Scott, Kelly and Session Moth Martina. It was an average match, let down a little by Kelly’s moves often being too clearly telegraphed. She is still very new to the business though, so she gets somewhat of a pass. We are shown a short montage video highlighting the evolution of the Women’s Championship match at Dead End as it has gone through three different incarnations.
The Smoking Break is up next, with Bobby Gunns, though it is short and sweet. Number one is a number Absolute Andy knows well apparently, just like the one hair on his head. Gunns is number one in wXw and will prove it at Dead End. This is a match I am very much looking forward to. We also get a montage of the animosity that has been brewing between both men as a way to promote their Shotgun Title match on the show.
Another title on the line at Dead End is the wXw Tag Team Championship, with RINGKAMPF defending against Jay-FK. Footage is shown of Jay Skillet’s less than respectful response to Timothy Thatcher’s offer from the previous week, with RINGKAMPF coming to see Skillet and Francis Kaspin to clarify about the attitude of the challengers. Skillet thanks RINGKAMPF for the title shot, though mentions that he doesn’t think that Thatcher was respectful in the way he offered it. WALTER jokes about Thatcher not wearing the right attire when he offered the title shot. Kaspin tries to mediate, but WALTER and Skillet get into a pissing match about WALTER missing training due to being ill and Skillet missing a tour with an injury. As Skillet begins to suggest WALTER’s thoughts might be on the wXw World Heavyweight Title, WALTER grabs him by the collar and tells him that if he embodied anything of what RINGKAMPF entails, he’d be a champion already. RINGKAMPF leave and Kaspin is unimpressed, yet Skillet explains it is all about putting the champions in a difficult situation. The challengers shake hands before they leave. This is a fun little segment that adds a bit of heat to Jay-FK’s tilt at the gold.
The main event of today’s show is going to be the biggest challenge of my time watching Julian Pace as he goes one on one with Jurn Simmons. Simmons tries to charge him as the bell rings, but gets three quick flash pinfall attempts that gain him a one count each time. Any speed Pace was looking to pick up is used against him almost instantly as Simmons drops him hard with a spinning slam, before adding insult to injury with multiple clotheslines with the wrist held onto for ease. Simmons is toying with his opponent, folding him up by grapevining the legs and using a chinlock. Pace’s feeble attempts to fight back annoy Simmons, who clubs Pace several times in the back.
Pace does manage some offense, using his speed to keep distance and landing a spinning DDT for a two count. Two ducked clotheslines allows Pace to spin Simmons off course, but as Pace comes back off of the ropes, he is checked with a huge back elbow. Once again, the piledriver is not enough as Simmons gets the win with the Rings of Saturn, the referee with no choice but to ring the bell as Pace is out. Some spirited moments by Pace, but a complete domination otherwise. In echoes of Dirty Dragan from Back to the Roots, Pace spits at Simmons as he wields the kendo stick in the ring. This earns him a stiff shoot to the middle of the back for his troubles. Simmons is great as a dick heel, though the chants of ‘one more time’ is possibly not what the promotion is looking for.
Simmons has an interview to follow, which sees him deride Julian Pace, only to be confronted and subsequently put on the floor by Mike Schwarz. Unsurprisingly, a match between these two is added to the Dead End card – a match that eventually is made a hardcore match – followed by a video which shows ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey talking about his past with John Klinger, who he has pinned before and who he hopes is ready for battle when it comes to Dead End.
In some ways, the biggest point of interest on the show finishes the episode as we have the heart to heart meeting between the members of RISE. Ivan Kiev acts as the mediator, laying out the history of RISE and how things have not quite gone to plan. Tarkan Aslan’s views are that sometimes things just happen, such as injuries, whilst communication might be an issue also. Lucky Kid talks about how distracted he has been, but is cut off by Pete Bouncer. Bouncer lists all the titles and big matches that have been lost, whilst also questioning Klinger’s decision to bring in Da Mack without consultation. Klinger talks about always making the right decision when it comes to the wXw World Title, only for both Kiev and Bouncer to make things clear – if he loses the title to Bailey, they may have to look at electing a new leader.
On that bombshell, the show ends. Not as good as some Shotgun shows, but Simmons versus Pace was a fun enough squash and we got a lot of build to Dead End. My call? No title changes – Klinger, Storm, RINGKAMPF and Gunns will all retain, with the only potential for the belt to change hands being Gunns losing to Andy, especially if they decide to get Marius Al-Ahni involved once more in Andy’s business. Whatever happens, it should be another fun show under the wXw banner and I am looking forward to it.