LAST WEEK, BOBBY GUNNS IS ON THE PHONE AND FINDS OUT THAT HIS MATCH WITH MIKEY SCHWARZ IS NOT HAPPENING- fine
The interesting thing here is that it is clearly Norman Harras and not Bobby Gunns doing all of the coordinating in the Raucherpause-EZEL alliance, with Harras actually keeping his teammates in the dark about the specifics of what he’s doing.
After this, we were shown the last segment from last week’s show where Mikey Schwarz told Andy he was cleared, and from what we would later see, it’s clear that Andy not only didn’t bother to tell Bobby Gunns this, but didn’t bother to tell him about the new stipulation, either. Also, Schwarz is apparently allowed to pick the time and place, so we wound up having this match… after the show, I guess? It wasn’t quite clear to me. But what was clear to me was how unfair this all was to Bobby Gunns.
DISCO BRAWL FOR THE wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE: Bobby Gunns(c) vs. Mike Schwarz- 6/10
Hey, look! A pre-taped match where they manage to tell us right away how to win (knockout or submission only). If wXw can do this, why can’t WWE or AEW get it right?
As alluded to above, this started with Schwarz finding the referee and announcer and saying “I want the match now.” Then they went and found Bobby Gunns in the locker room and Schwarz jumped him.
Yeah, okay. This is after last week’s show, as when they brawled to the ring, the ring crew was still in the process of taking it down. They bawled a lot and di a lot of stuff, but other than the “hot” coffee out of the urn and on Bobby’s arm and face, this was pretty tame. Gunns won using an armbar with a chair on Schwarz injured arm.
THE NEXT DAY, VARIOUS BABYFACES CRASH DIE RAUCHERPAUSE’S PARTY CELEBRATING BOBBY GUNNS’ VICTORY- fine
Andy and Leon were definitely acting too jerkish for my tases. For Andy that is at least in character, but not really for Leon. We wound up with Andy booking Die Raucherpause against himself, Leon van Gasteren, Dirty Dragan, & Emil Sitoci for next week’s show.
SENZA VOLTO & LEVANIEL BACKSTAGE- Levaniel asks for some insight into Amele. Senza claims to not know her. My guess from his body language is that he’s f*cking with Levaniel because… well… he’s Levaniel. I could be wrong, though, and maybe he genuinely hasn’t met her before.
HEKTOR INVICTUS YELLS AT MARIUS AL-ANI BACKSTAGE- good
Hektor feels disrespected by his friend Marius’ post-match comments when he made fun of Jurn for losing to Hektor. Hektor says he’s one of the top wrestlers in Germany now that he beat a former wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion. Marius scoffs at this.
LEON VAN GASTEREN vs. RAMBO- 2/10
This was short and might have had a rushed finish. Rambo got Leon up for a powerbomb but kind of lost him on and he landed on his shoulder. After that we got a pinfall with a kickout, then Rambo went for something else and Leon countered it into a stunner and that was the finish.
GODLENBOY SANTOS AND THE ROTATION BACKSTAGE- fine
Santos tells The Rotation not to get so down on himself for losing. The Rotation resolves to become a better role model. I’m really growing to hate The Rotation. He’s such a whiny, entitled little sh*t.
THE OTHER BABYFACE WOMEN ARE ANGRY AT BABY ALLISON FOR ELIMINATING SARA LEON FROM SHORTCUT TO THE TOP- fine
The other women were under the impression that they had some sort of alliance going. Allison and Sara were definitely working together and what Allison did was definitely a betrayal, but at no point in the backstage segment they showed did I hear anything that felt like these four women agreeing to an alliance, so the babyfaces are in the wrong here. Or at least Killer Kelly and Stephanie Maze are. Sara Leon has every reason to be upset with Allison.
Allison apparently interpreted the situation the same way I did, so I’m not alone here. To her credit, when this was pointed out, even Killer Kelly seemed to concede the point, but she did give Allison a lecture about betrayal being not a cool thing to do. Allison says she only cares about herself, and that Sara Leon doesn’t deserve to be in wXw. Kelly insists that Allison is wrong, and Leon doesdeserve to be in wXw.
This was fine, but I think they need to be a little bit careful with the way they portray Kelly here. Having her be the paragon of babyface virtue is a great role for her, but having her walk around with the other two flaking her and having her do almost all of the talking for them makes her feel a little like the self-important leader of the locker room clique, and that’s not a good look. It also does a disservice to the others to have Kelly do their talking for them (which didn’t happen here, as Leon was the one to initially confront Allison and was very angry at her, but they need to make sure to let the others talk in the future so that they feel like their own characters and not Kelly’s hangers-on.
NORMAN HARRAS & THE PRETTY BASTARDS BACKTAGE- good
Pretty Bastards want Norman to get EZEL to help them out in tonight’s main event They tell him this while treating him like an unimportant gofer and don’t care about his issues. Once again, wXw has done a tremendous job of keeping Norman as a total heel, but making him such a sympathetic one.
SARA LEON VS. ?- no rating, fine segment
Baby Allison jumped Sara during her entrance and beat her up.
NORMAN HARRAS FACILIATES A MEETING BETWEEN THE RPETTY BASTARDS AND ABDUL & AYTAC OF EZEL- very good
Wow. That Norman Harras sure does work fast. Prince Ahura is predictably undiplomatic, with Norman having to smooth things over. Ahura has decided that he should be the one calling the shots for the team in tonight’s match. EZEL say it should be their leader, Metehan. Arguing happens. EZEL are being pretty reasonable, while Ahura, of course, is being a jerk. Maggot occasionally pipes in with a solid point in a respectful manner, but Ahura is doing most of the talking for the team, so it’s mostly antagonistic, with Norman being the real adult on the Raucherpause side of things.
They did a great job with the tension here, making you feel like tonight might be the night that this alliance of heel factions inevitably breaks down. After EZEL left, Norman wanted to get ready for Dog Collar match his match with Avalanche, but Prince Ahura insisted that he be at ringside and watch their backs instead because he doesn’t trust EZEL. Norman was not happy about this.
KILLER KELLY GIVES HER TEAM A PEP TALK- fine
IF KELLY, MAZE, & MOODO WIN, KELLY GETS A wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH AND MAZE & MOODO GET A wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE SHOT: Killer Kelly, Stephanie Maze, & Fast Time Moodo vs. Metehan & the Pretty Bastards (w/Norman Harras)- 7/10
This got some good time and they did good job juggling their various stories, keeping them each boiling or simmering as was appropriate. We got healthy doses of babyface-in-peril stuff and the Pretty Bastards (and especially Prince Ahura) being douches and not respecting the women.
The idea of Metehan refusing to fight women was something they built up over time until we got the big moment where Kelly got two good shots in on him. The first was a punch, doubling him over as he tried to enter the ring and talk trash, and the second was a running dropkick that sent him tumbling to the floor. Metehan remained on the floor for the rest of the match (which wasn’t that long), clearly furious and wishing he could hit Kelly, but not wanting to break his vow to not fight a woman. As we’ve seen in other places (the Jackie vs. Disco Inferno match in WCW immediately springs to mind), this is a rather hard needle to thread, as you run into the problem of your babyface beating on someone who is refusing to fight back for what are theoretically noble reasons (ad even if you don’t think the reasons are noble, beating up someone who refuses to fight back isn’t much of an accomplishment). They threaded that needle well in this match by building up you wanting to see Kelly get her hand son Metehan and paying it off in that one moment, so there really wasn’t a situation where Kelly was beating on him and he was actively refusing to fight back. Handling that well in the title match that this victory for Kelly’s team resulted in will be a much bigger challenge.
The other story here was that of tye Pretty Bastards and Metehan not really liking each other. They kept that one pretty quiet, but it was there enough that my immediate thought on the finish was “oh boy. This sure is going to exacerbate things” (Pretty Bastards will be angry at Metehan for not being there to make the save, and Metehan will be angry at Ahura for getting pinned). Pretty Bastards will also likely be angry with Metehan and probably Norman Harras as well that EZEL never showed up to help them, but my guess is that they were neutralized en route by Emil Sitoci and/or Mike Schwarz.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- yup. There are the Pretty Bastards screaming at Norman.
LEVANIEL FINALLY GETS THROUGH TO AMELE ON SKYPE- meh
Yeah… Amale needs to have a better grasp of English and/or to become a better actress. She’s dragged this segment down. The important stuff here was that Levaniel said he didn’t believe Amele when she said she wasn’t interested in the French wrestler coming to wXw, and now Levaniel wants to beat them up to impress her.
HEKTOR INVICTUS TALKS TO JURN SIMMONS BACKSTAGE- fine
Hektor offers Jurn a rematch and Jurn accepts. I like what they’re doing with Hektor here, but it sure is weird that they have now positioned him as a babyface, considering that they way they brought him into the company made him seem like he was going to be a big heel.
DOG COLLAR MATCH: Norman Harras vs. “The Avalanche” Robert Dreissker- 6/10
After much stalling Harras… just didn’t put the dog collar on. He ran over and attacked Avalanche instead. Once he had Avalanche down, he finally put the collar on.
Even including the time they were fighting before Harras put the dog collar on, this only went 7:50. It was a good brawl while it lasted, but nowhere near long enough for what felt like such a big match. The finish was believable for such a short match and is clearly meant to build to another match, but that doesn’t stop me from being disappointed that we didn’t get much from this one.
Said finish was Norman punching Avalanche in the nuts and then choking him out with the chain. Interestingly, they made a point of doing the low blow behind the referee’s back, and the commentary played it off as if this would have been a DQ had the referee seen it. I don’t totally hate that, but it’s always weird to have something like that but not include it in your rundown of the rules during the hype for the match.
Pretty Bastards tried to get involved on Norman’s side but Stephanie Maze & Fast Time Moodo came out to prevent this from happening. They succeeded in preventing the interference but were both take out by the bastards (actually, just by Maggot). Having the champs dominate the #1 contenders so easily seems like a bad idea to me.
This was probably the best episode of Shotgun 2020 yet. Both the world title match and the #1 contendership match got a lot of time, and the main event, while disappointing, did have a solid angle afterwards to make me want to see the heels get their asses kicked (it was nothing to really write about because it was so mundane of a post-match dickhead celebration, but these heels are just go good at it that I thought it worked beautifully), so I have to call it a success. The next step is to have the actual wrestling be a little better. Hopefully the remaining shows are more like this one and less like the first few.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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