wXw Fight Forever Tour: Opening (8/5/2017)- Oberhausen, Germany
English commentary tonight is provided by Rico Bushido and Adam Polak. Polak complained that there was no air conditioning, for which Rico chewed him out, saying “you can’t expect the company to turn on the air conditioning just for you.” While this might be true, it’s f*cking AUGUST, so I doubt Adam is the only person in the building who would like the air conditioning turned on.
WALTER vs. CHRIS COLEN- 6.75/10
Rico Bushido said he saw Polak talking to RISE before the show and asked if Colen is the “underboss,” to which Adam Polak responded that “they’re more like a collective.” Already here in the first major show since their big debut, the seeds the set for the issue that would cause major upheaval in the group half a year later.
Rico Bushido could not believe that there was a faction without some sort of leader, prodding Polak about whether or not they have a president. Polak responded by dismissively saying “no, they don’t have a president! They’re not the Hell’s Angels,” and then emphatically added “whom I respect.” Part of the reason Rico was skeptical about this was that John Klinger has apparently been wearing a jacket that says “president” on it. There’s more of that seed-sowing.
The match itself was a very good hard-hitting, RISE vs. wXw opener that would set the tone for the next six months. I can understand people not liking the babyface winning the first match of the tour, but considering the way things were going to go, I don’t think this hurt the angle at all.
BOBBY GUNNS vs. ALPHA KEVIN- 6/10
For those unfamiliar with this feud so far, Bobby Gunns is a gigantic asshole who is attempting to break up the Alpha Lovers happy marriage in the most douchbaggy way possible (for example, he sent someone to give a message to Melanie in front of Kevin that Bobby was waiting for her in the shower). Even worse, at this point he’s just doing it for no reason other than spite, as Melanie has made it quite clear that she wants nothing to do with him (after the “shower message incident, Melanie did, in fact, go visit Bobby in the shower… and she locked on a Testicular Claw and told him that if he didn’t leave them alone she would rip his junk off).
Melanie Gray came out with Kevin but he sent her to the back right before the match started, saying that he doesn’t want her to cost him another match. Then he lost cleanly to Bobby Gunns. Ouch. Kevin was a great angry babyface and Bobby was a great douchebag heel. He worked over Kevin’s arm and eventually got the win. Kevin could have sold the arm a little better, but they got the big points across well and the finish was the sort of pleasantly simple idea that I’d like to see more of in wrestling (Kevin went for a flying back elbow and missed, then Bobby grabbed that arm and locked in the armbar for the win).
KIM RAY vs. IVAN KIEV- 5.25/10
Kiev played possum at a key moment to lull Kim Ray into a false sense of security. It’s Kim Ray. We couldn’t let Kiev just without deceit to help establish individual members of RISE as a threat?
wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Young Lions(c) vs. A4- 7.5/10
On their way to the ring the Young Lions started to kick at the German announcers, causing A4 to run up the ramp to the rescue and start us off with a brawl on the stage. Then they just brawled right down to the ring, so the whole thing felt kind of pointless. It was a hot start, though.
Then Andy and Tarkan wound up back on the stage and the other non-Klinger members of RISE came out and attacked Andy. You would expect this to result in Andy being out on the apron and Al-Ani then being down two-on-one in the ring as the babyface in peril but instead they used it as a count-out tease for Andy and had the Young Lions jump right on Andy afterwards and made Andy the babyface in peril. I thought this was a clever and logical way to subvert expectations, which is always something I appreciate seeing.
They worked over Andy’s arm for a while but he was eventually able to make the hot tag to Al-Ani. We got some good action for a while, including Pete Bouncer of RISE sneaking down to ringside to save the titles for the Young Lions by putting Tarkan Aslan’s foot on the ropes. This was the first in an excellent five or so minutes of twists, turns, and nearfalls, that wound up in one of those DQs where you wind up cheering the babyface anyway because you just wanted to see him lay the heels out, and only after the referee calls for the bell do you realize that “oh sh*t, the babyface just got disqualified and lost this title match.”
ALEX WINDSOR vs. MELANIE GRAY- 6.75/10
JAY FK vs. DIRTY DRAGAN & EMIL SITOCI- 6.75/10
Very good action, plus lots of fun stuff with Dragan.
wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE MATCH: Jurn Simmons(c) vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger- 7.75/10
They had a GREAT, hard-hitting three-way for a long time but then the interferences started. First Avalanche showed up to screw Ilja Dragunov out of the win, then literally take him out of the match by carrying him backstage. Then Jurn Simmons appeared to have the match won but instead of going for a cover he decided to try to put Bad Bones through a table, giving RISE the opportunity to interfere, saving their leader and destroying Jurn via many, many, many chairshots from Chris Colen. Klinger turning the RISE finger taunt into a one-finger pin on Jurn was a great touch, and the overbooking definitely got the right kind of heat here, but you could also tell that the fans seemed to be approaching the point where they would start to turn on things of the overbooking continued. It was very much a case of “okay, you have used this overbooking to make your point and we understand that… but from now on we’d like to see a little less of it on finishes.”
This was your typical fun and exciting wXw show. Everything was solid or better and there were some important storyline developments, but this show didn’t quite have that one awesome match really makes a show feel great. This is definitely one you should watch for the storylines, but if you’re just looking for ringwork then there are much better wXw shows to boot up.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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