wXw 17th Anniversary Show (12/23/2017)- Oberhausen, Germany
OPENING SEGMENT- great angle!
Marius Al-Ani (who has just wrestled a grueling match against WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne which couldn’t be shown on the broadcast) spots his partner-turned-enemy Absolute Andy in the balcony and demands that Andy come down and face him. Despite Andy being suspended, no one tried to stop him from getting into the ring. Andy grabbed a chair before getting into the ring, but then just decided to drop it and throw fists instead. That was odd.
They brawled. Security tried to break it up (actually moving their asses this time rather than the lethargic lollygagging at the Hamburg show), but got beaten up for their troubles, and the two wrestlers went right back to brawling. Even more security and some referees came out and did a better job at separating the wrestlers, but each broke free at times. Eventually Andy managed to get his hands on that chair from earlier and hit Marius in the head with it while the security people on Marius’ side were still trying to hold him back, not realizing that Andy was right behind them with a chair.
Security tried stop Andy from attacking Marius more but gave up when Andy gave one of them an F-5. He then gave Marius the “ribs into the ringpost F-5,” then a Sit-out Dominator. Andy sat on the top turnbuckle calmly while medical personnel loaded Marius onto a gurney, then once he was on the gurney, Andy came off the top with a diving elbow drop.
JAY FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. MONSTER CONSULTING (Julian Nero & “The Avalanche” Robert Dreissker)- 6/10
This was pretty good for the time it got.
JURN SIMMONS vs. DAVID STARR- 7.75/10
Massive Product explodes!
Well… we get a handshake to start things off, so that’s a good sign for their future as a team. I’d say that “they beat the sh*t out of each other,” but while Starr did hit Jurn as hard as possible when he got the chance to, it was turn who was doing three quarters of the sh*t-beating. Starr fought through all of it and managed to get the win due to Jurn not following up on moves as quickly as he should have.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Jurn offers the post-match handshake, and they shake hands, kiss, and hug to make up (in that order, although it seems to me like two and three should be switched around). Then Jurn kicked Starr in the nuts. The execution here was fine, and they did a good job of waiting long enough to make you think that maybe they would just go back to being a team, but we’ve seen this sort of thing so much that even with as long as they waited, I only ever thought there was at most a 50-50 chance of Jurn not turning on Starr. It’s not the wrestlers’ fault and it’s not even the booker’s fault, either; it’s just… a “too much wrestling” thing, where unless there is a big change in the booking of the industry as a whole, you’ll never really be able to shake the feeling. Predictable endings can be fun and satisfying when they’re happy (like how sure I am of Ilja’s victory tonight), but when it’s something like a heel turn, it’s just more blah than it otherwise would be because I don’t want to see Jurn turn on Starr. I want to see them keep teaming together because I’ve really enjoyed them this year.
Also, coming just two months after A4’s break-up (which we still have no answers about), this seems to cut the number of pure babyface teams in wXw down to… well… just RingKampf, really, as Jay FK have come off kind of dickish in their feud with Emil Sitoci and Monster Consulting seem to have remained heelish rather than the full babyface turn that facing off against RISE would really entail, with their Cerberus reunion now seemingly like was only a one-weekend thing. Don’t get me wrong; Jay FK can easily become babyfaces with some clarification in their story, and wXw seems to be making an effort to bring CCK (back) into the fold this year, so they can have a bunch of babyface teams in an instant if they need to; it’s just sad seeing so many fun babyface teams break-up, and now knowing that the pairing that will end the year as our top babyface tag team is made up of two guys who were part of the top heel stable until the middle of the spring.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!- While I was musing about the state of the babyface side of the tag division, Jurn got a Kendo Stick from under the ring and went to deliver the same big cane shot to the back of the neck to Starr that he did to Alexander James after James had quit in their I Quit Match. After doing it once, I guess someone somehow let them know that the camera angle made it looked like he really hit Starr in the back more than the neck, so Jurn hit him again and this time it looked a lot more like it hit him in the back of the neck before finally walking off. This now establishes that Jurn’s “Viking Execution” or whatever they called it is going to be a big thing in the coming year, as well as gave this angle a more unique touch so that there was a bit more to it than just your run of the mill wrestler turning on his/her friend.
16 CARAT GOLD ANNOUNCEMENT- in addition to the previously-announced Mark Haskins, Penta el 0M, Jeff Cobb, Travis Banks, Chris Brookes, and Rey Fenix, the tournament will also feature “The Avalanche” Robert Dreissker, and, making his European debut, Jonah Rock.
wXw TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: RingKampf(c) vs. The Young Lions (Tarkan Aslan & Lucky Kid)- 7.75/10
Good cheating by RISE but RingKampf managed to overcome it and retain their titles in a GREAT match. Wonderful babyfaces vs. heels stuff.
wXw WOMEN’S TITLE TOURNAMENT FINALS: Killer Kelly vs. Melanie Gray- 4/10
This was supposed to be Melanie vs. “Session Moth” Martina but Melanie apparently took Martina out, which is theoretically a heel move but it’s Martina so I’m okay with it. Beating up Martina is like beating up Heath Slater. I can’t imagine the beating wasn’t justified based purely on how annoying she must have been to Melanie.
Anyway, Melanie thought this would be that she would just be handed the title, Christian Michael Jakobi came out and announced that it doesn’t work that way here in wXw and she would have to face Killer Kelly instead. Once she realized that she wasn’t going to get her way, Melanie put on a wonderful grumpy face, which was made even better somehow by her Snow White ring gear.
Once the bell rang, Melanie brought the full force of her grump crashing down on Killer Kelly’s head and pretty much dominated her for most of the match but Kelly was able to pull off the win via small package.
KARSTEN BECK HALL OF FAME INDUCTION- good
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH: Ivan Kiev(c) vs. Bobby Gunns- 6.5/10
Gunns picked up the win in this heel vs. heel match, and while I totally understand that Gunns is at exactly the spot you’d want someone to be at to give them that heel undercard title run, he just doesn’t feel like the right guy to take a title belt from a member of RISE, and while the heel vs. heel thing is a part of that, it’s more that this just feels really random when there are so many babyface options running around.
MATCH FOR THE wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE IN WHICH THERE ARE NO DISQUALIFICATIONS EXCEPT FOR OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE, AND THE TITLE CAN CHANGE HANDS ON A DQ: “Bad Bones” John Klinger(c) vs. Ilja Dragunov- 9.75/10
We started off with Ilja taking it right to Klinger, but the shine ended when Klinger countered a suicide dive with a chairshot and Ilja started to bleed like a stuck pig. From there most of the match consisted of Klinger bashing Ilja’s head in and Ilja continuing to kick out and try to fight through the pain and it began to look like Ilja truly was, as he claimed (and as the fans chanted at him) “unbesiegbar” (invincible). Then, after Ilja kicked out after a BRUTAL one-man Con-Chair-Toe, and Klinger got over his utter shock that Ilja was getting back up, Klinger hit the Shadow Driver… and got the win.
This was one of those matches where they told their story perfectly, but the ending they gave it just feels like it was the wrong ending to the story. Did Ilja really go through all of this- not just the punishment in this match but the number of times he’s been screwed out of this title in the past seven months… only to lose? I don’t get it.
Further confusing things was a graphic at the end saying “Thank you, Ilja!” and a tweet from wXw wishing him well in the future, which sounds like he is leaving, which is obviously a good reason for him to lose, but not having had any hints of this before makes it all feel so sudden and so odd that the story had to end this way. It’s off-putting. And, of course, it’s all possible that this could all be an angle. If anyone can shed some light on the tearful promo Ilja cut afterwards, please let me know. I don’t speak…German or Russian or whatever language it was he was speaking.
This was yet another great show from wXw that definitely had that “biggest show the year” feel. Some of the booking was definitely baffling, but it was mostly baffling in the way that makes me wonder where things are going rather than just thinking they’re stupid for booking it that way. Check this show out.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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