By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
RINGKAMPF retain the wXw World Tag Team Titles over Jay-FK
Jurn Simmons defeated Mike Schwarz in a Hardcore match
Lucky Kid qualified for 16 Carat Gold with a victory over Ivan Kiev
Toni Storm defeated Killer Kelly, Session Moth Martina and Veda Scott to retain the wXw Women’s Championship
Bobby Gunns beat Absolute Andy to retain the wXw Shotgun Championship
John Klinger retained the wXw World Championship with a win over Speedball Mike Bailey
With there only being 25 days until 16 Carat Gold, the words ‘Dead End’ are apt in particular for John Klinger. If he retains his wXw World Heavyweight Championship against ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey, he is on course to meet WALTER on 16 Carat weekend. If he loses…RISE may find themselves looking for a new leader.
The first match of the night is the wXw World Tag Team Title match between RINGKAMPF and Jay-FK. This is all about the animosity towards Jay Skillet, who uses WALTER and Thatcher’s desire to get at him to divide and conquer, hitting double back suplexes with Francis Kaspin on WALTER and almost getting the three in the opening minutes with an assisted lungblower/double foot stomp combination. After Thatcher lands a belly to belly on Skillet, the disdain that the champions have for him is apparent with a slap in the face by Thatcher, WALTER using his boot to grind the challenger’s face and a chop trade off that Skillet naturally loses.
A brainbuster on Thatcher turns the tide long enough to bring Kaspin in, but an early celebration after a missile dropkick on WALTER sees the giant Austrian lock in a sleeper, before hitting a German and butterfly suplex. Skillet gets a blind tag that allows them to hit a crossbody/neckbreaker combination on Thatcher for a nearfall, but an attempt to hit the assisted lungblower again sees both of the challengers caught in sleepers, Thatcher’s on Skillet enough for the submission. The teas exchange post-match handshakes, not before Skillet slaps WALTER around the face but eventually takes the hand. A spirited performance in a match that told a nice and simple story that offset the fact that Jay-FK were always unlikely to win the contest. Whether Jay-FK are long for this world, with Skillet potentially sowing the seeds for a heel turn in the long run, is the main question coming out of this contest.
A match booked last minute is up next as Jurn Simmons meets Mike Schwarz in a Hardcore Match, with Schwarz being a wrestler I have no knowledge of whatsoever, though they’ve sold him on Shotgun as being a name of note. Schwarz endears himself to the crowd early on as he enters with beer in hand. A huge early bicycle kick almost gets Schwarz the victory in under five seconds, though it does also allow him to completely dominate the match up until he complies with the fans’ request to get a table. Simmons reverses an attempted chokeslam through the table and uses the opportunity to grab his kendo stick from ringside.
However, Schwarz breaks the kendo stick across his knee and hits the ‘End of the Shift’ chokeslam through the table. That isn’t enough for the three, nor is the unique keg-on-a-stick weapon that Schwarz then uses. The introduction of another table backfires, with Simmons throwing Schwarz through the wood as it was propped up against the turnbuckle. Both men end up down as they connect with kicks in the middle of the ring, but Schwarz seems to be just ahead as he uses a sidewalk slam for another nearfall.
Unfortunately for Schwarz, a low blow is legal in a Hardcore match, Simmons using it to block another chokeslam and land a piledriver on a chair. A brutal kendo stick shot to the back of Schwarz’ neck as he is face down on a chair leads to the Tentacles of Terror (the rings of Saturn) with kendo stick assistance for the submission. A crowd pleaser more than anything else, it did its job in showing how brutal Simmons has become as he turns to the dark side.
An interesting match follows as Lucky Kid and Ivan Kiev, both members of RISE, face off for an available spot at 16 Carat Gold. Pete Bouncer is in the corner of Kiev; Tarkan Aslan in the corner for Kid. After some finger touching to show that they are still on the same side, the match kicks off at a fast pace as the two men trade reversals, dodges and grapples, including a missed standing shooting star press by Kiev and a fake out on a dive by Kid moments later. Kid’s unorthodox mannerisms cost him as he gets caught with an avalanche and a running kick, before popping up to engage in Kiev’s taunting and earning himself a kick to the chest for his troubles. The continued sense of parity sees the men slide in and out of the ring to avoid various dives, leading to an Arabian press by Kid that hits perfectly.
Aslan and Bouncer get into an altercation as Kiev took control with a Katahajime-style submission, with Bouncer pulling him back so as to not allow him to get involved. The tide soon turned as Kid slips out of an attempted superplex, hitting a Liger bomb for a two count before blocking a Pele kick and turning it into an ankle lock. This time, Bouncer gets up on the apron, but chooses to step down rather than get involved. This leads to the commentary team discussing how maybe members of RISE are beginning to realise that they don’t need to cheat or get involved as they are good enough to get things done in the ring without all that.
Kiev lands a Death Valley driver and a top rope legdrop to a standing Kid for a nearfall, whilst halting Kid for the second time with a step up frankensteiner off of the top rope. Just as it seems Kiev had the match in his grasp, especially after escaping a dragon suplex by turning it into a roll-up, Kid escapes the Death Valley into Michinoku driver and hit the dragon suplex with bridge for the three count and the spot in 16 Carat Gold. A really good little match that was a fun way of matching up two opponents who otherwise wouldn’t meet. Kid has an interview with the German announce team, but I don’t speak German so have no clue what he talks about to be honest.
A match has changed several times in the run up follows as Toni Storm defends her wXw Women’s Championship against Session Moth Martina, Killer Kelly and Veda Scott. Martina’s focus on grinding against Storm as the bell rings almost costs both women as Scott rolls up Storm for a two count within seconds. The action comes thick and fast throughout the bout, with Martina hitting an early second rope crossbody on both Storm and Kelly, before Kelly fights off an attempt at the Strong Zero by Storm. A decent chunk of the contest is given over to the four women hitting dives to the outside: Veda uses the referee to help lands hers, Storm does a suicide dive, Kelly a crossbody from the top and we get the beer revival spot that ends up with Martina landing her own suicide dive.
With the match back in the ring, Kelly and Storm his stereo German suplexes but miss corner moves that allows Scott and Martina to take control. Scott in particular hits a German on Kelly whilst using an Indian deathlock on Martina, a pin that Storm needs to break up. Scott also comes close with an ace crusher which gains her another two count. Kelly and Scott end up brawling through the crowd as their ongoing tensions boil over, allowing Storm to hit a German suplex on Martina and the Strong Zero for the three count. Again, nothing spectacular but crowd pleasing due to how all action it was with some good spots along the way and a popular winner. Storm is even nice enough to revive Martina with a post-match beer.
My pick for potential match of the night is up next as Bobby Gunns defends his Shotgun title against the man who beat him at Back to the Roots, Absolute Andy. Andy has a cigar in hand; Gunns has his usual cigarette as we have a smoke off, or so it seems. Gunns is brandishing a Werder Bremen flag, but the crowd are pretty much all behind him irrelevant of his arrogant choices.
This match goes long, as did the previous one, with the earliest exchanges showing Gunns fire in taking the match to the veteran, before Andy uses a trip and a figure four leglock – with additional leverage by the ropes – to work over the champion. The ref breaks the hold eventually, leading to our first involvement of the referee, as he pushes Andy back into a roll-up after the challenger shoves him. Gunns ‘breaks’ Andy’s fingers, lands a big superplex, armbar over the top rope and a diving uppercut off of the top, yet Andy comes close to a finish by using Gunns own armbar against him. After a beautiful Saito suplex by Gunns, Andy grabs the referee to halt an attempted superkick.
Gunns is still fired up, swearing at Andy and spitting at him to lure him into an armbar, though Andy uses his strength in a deadlift to break the hold. Gunns reverses an attempt at the sharpshooter into one of his own and also hits a superkick for a nearfall. An Andy superkick shortly afterwards nails the referee, leaving no-one to stop Andy from choking Gunns with a towel. In the crowd is Bobby’s brother, Vinny, and he uses his crutches (having had surgery on an injury sustained the previous year) to get down to ringside, only for Andy to kick them out from under him and lock him in a sharpshooter.
Gunns is able to revive himself long enough to break the hold, but a missed title belt shot ends up with Andy dumping him face first onto the gold with an F5. Andy retrieves a wrench from under the ring, yet the presence of Marius Al-Ahni on the video screen distracts him long enough for the ref to take the wrench, Gunns to hit him with the belt and for him to tap to the armbar. A really good match that – like the contest at Back to the Roots – probably went too long in all honesty, especially with the involvement of Vinny after the ref bump, but it continues the momentum of Bobby Gunns and my enjoyment of his work after being non-plussed by him this time last year.
Considering there was unlikely to be a wXw World Championship change in the main event, wXw had done a good job of reminding people that Mike Bailey had beaten John Klinger before, as well as built intrigue with the continued tension within RISE. Klinger takes his time to engage, which is wise as Bailey takes control in the early going, landing his springboard moonsault to the outside for good measure. After nailing a spear, Klinger surprisingly sends Da Mack away, the one member of RISE still at ringside. The match is back and forth pretty much throughout: Klinger hits a snap powerslam for two, the fans get behind Bailey and he lands a running boot and a standing Spanish fly for a two of his own.
Klinger decides to head to ringside to avoid Bailey’s offense, tripping Speedball up on the apron and almost getting a countout victory after using the RISE Lock on the stairs. Klinger lands a missile dropkick, sliding lariat, falcon arrow and half nelson suplex, but none of them put Bailey away. Instead, the challenger is still fighting back, leading to a stare off in the middle of the ring for a good minute mid-match; the crowd rising to their feet to celebrate the action so far. Bailey manages to land the standing version of his shooting star knees, but misses the one off of the second rope before springboarding into a Klinger codebreaker for a nearfall.
Klinger hits a codebreaker again and slaps on the RISE Lock, only for Bailey to escape and come close to victory with a kick to the head of a kneeling champion. Bailey comes closest to victory with a victory roll, but two lots of wrecking ball knees, the second after Bailey misses his shooting star knees again, sets up the challenger for the Shadow Driver and RISE Lock combination, forcing the submission.
Post-match, RISE hit the ring and Bouncer is noticeable in taking his time to engage with the one fingered salute. Similarly, it is clear as Klinger gets lifted up into the air to celebrate that he is holding the belt in Bouncer’s face. Subtle little bits of storytelling. We also see RINGKAMPF come down, though Klinger holds back the members of RISE to stare down WALTER as the show ends. Whilst the main event took a little while to get going, the action after the mid-match staredown was excellent. Probably match of the night all told.
I’d predicted on Twitter that no titles would change hands and I was correct. WALTER versus John Klinger is the match for wXw right now, though I can’t predict which way they go. A Klinger versus Bouncer feud is the next obvious step, but whether it is over the title or being the head of RISE remains to be seen. Overall, wXw once again deliver an engaging show that leaves just enough questions to make me want to tune in on the road to 16 Carat Gold. That’s all you can ask for.