BRM Reviews wXw Drive of Champions 2021 (very disappointing)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews wXw Drive of Champions 2021 (very disappointing)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 19th, '21, 21:20

wXw Drive of Champions 2021 (5/28/2021)- Oberhausen, Germany


SOME UNKNOWN ENTITY HAS BEEN CALLING NORMAN HARRAS CONSTANTLY AND EVEN RAN UP AND RANG HIS DOORBELL- Norman thinks that wXw management is behind it, and thus he won’t stick around to let Andy Jackson tell him who his challenger for tonight is. With the hindsight of knowing where this is going, this was a wonderful little bit, as it both served to explain why Norman wouldn’t know who his opponent was until he went to the ring and also fits in perfectly with his opponent’s personality.

ROTT & FLOTT INTERVIEW- good
They’re annoyed that Leon & Tim were randomly offered a title shot while they were forced to try to earn one (and failed).

ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS LEON VAN GASTEREN & TIM STUBING- fine
I can see how Leon would be kind of annoying to have as a mentor, especially as compared to the serious but never mocking Avalanche.

ROTT & FLOTT vs. LEON VAN GASTEREN & TIM STUBING- 6.5/10
A solid win for Tim and Leon in the opener.

ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS LEON VAN GASTEREN & TIM STUBING- good
Leon paints this as a good step forward for the team as a whole and for Tim as an individual.

MAGGOT IS FAKING A KNEE INJURY, BUT APPARENTLY HAS LEGITIMATE DOCTOR’S PAPERS- He claims that Senza Volto attacked him, but from the smiles we can see him and Baby Allison struggling to hold back, this is pretty clearly fake. I really hope they don’t screw us out of arguably the match they have spent the most time building to.

WINNER IS THE #1 CONTENDER FOR THE wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE, THE LOSER CANNOT CHALLENGE FOR THAT TITLE FOR THE REST OF 2021: Emil Sitoci vs. Tristan Archer- 7/10
Sitoci’s knee is fine. He once again used some questionable tactics at key spots. I think it would have been better if they made it more clear that Archer saw through the ruse on the finish (similar to the one that he fell for in their last match) instead of having him be hit by Sitoci’s move but then recovering before Sitoci could effectively follow up. Other than that, a great match.

ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS TRISTAN ARCHER- okay
This was the usual “I’m so happy to be the #1 contender” stuff, but I really wish that instead of ending it by telling us all that he was looking forward to having the best match the world has ever seen against Marius, he would have ended by saying that he was excited to WIN THE TITLE. You’re supposed to be pretending that it’s not a work!

ANDY JACKSON INFORMS SENZA VOLTO & AIGLE BLANC ABOUT A CHANGE TO THEIR MATCH- Yup. Maggot is hurt so the scheduled lucha de apuesta won’t take place.
BOOO! Don’t screw fans out of a match! Yes, I know it’s not like doing it on a PPV where fans paid a bunch of money to see the match, and those of us who are paying for their streaming service will surely get the match later without paying any extra money, but a bait-and-switch like this shouldn’t happen unless doing so is very important to a storyline, and even then, should only be done rarely.
Senza denies attacking Maggot and says that it is clearly a lie. Andy tells the masked Frenchmen to keep their energy up, because a replacement opponent for them has been found.

HEKTOR INVICTUS & DENNIS “CASH” DULLNIG INTERVIEW- decent
The announcer notes that Dennis was very quick to sign him and Hektor on for this match. Hmmm… Is it possible that Dennis attacked Maggot to create this chance for him and Hektor to team again, and Maggot’s injury is real, and he and Allison were merely smiling because they’re merely happy to have gotten out of the match rather than because they’re happy they got one over on everyone? That would make the legitimacy of doctor’s note less of an issue, too (I’d like to think that there aren’t heel doctors out there who write excuse notes for heels in exchange for bribes).
Anyway, Dennis got on Hektor’s nerves again, and Hektor let him know it. Hektor had no desire to compete in this match, but Dennis signed them up without his knowledge. These two actually started to get me into this story… and then they keep going back to that stupid f*cking flagpole, and it makes the whole thing feel like a joke. We still have no idea what that thing is so damn important to Hektor. Knowing that would at least give us some idea of why that is such a big deal for him (especially since, for most people, it would be the flag itself that is the thing they value, not the damn pole it’s attached to).

HEKTOR INVICTUS & DENNIS “CASH” DULLNIG vs. SENZA VOLTO & AIGLE BLANC- 6.5/10
The run-time on this show is 2:18:38, and we’re just starting the third match at 1:02:36. I’m getting a little concerned that things won’t be given enough time.
Team France won clean, with Senza pinning Hektor.

AMELE PROMO VIA YOUTUBE EARLIER TODAY- good
She’s not here to defend her title, but she still wanted to appear. She brags about being the longest-reigning women’s champion. The gimmick here is that she hasn’t been around since the beginning of COVID. That being said, she’s not totally wrong that there really isn’t anyone for her to defend against at the moment. Hopefully this leads to her actually coming back and defending it (it has certainly been odd that while Alexander Wolfe was immediately stripped of the Shotgun Title upon the beginning of COVID, Amele has not yet been stripped of the Women’s Title. Yes, her not being around but still being the champion served its purpose as a plot device last year to set up the idea that women could now challenge for male titles, but Amele hasn’t been around for well over a year now. It feels a little bit like they’re not stripping her of the title because 1) they really don’t have anyone else around to put it on, and 2) they’ve already had to vacate and do tournaments for both the Shotgun and Tag titles since the beginning of COVID, and they don’t want to it to feel like they’re doing this too much.

wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH: Norman Harras(c) vs. Prince Ahura- no rating, very bad segment
Prince Ahura is a darn good curveball to throw at Norman. And then they went and ruined it by having Norman be unable to believe that Ahura would want this match against him. That doesn’t fit his character at all. He’s a braggart, but he’s cold and calculating once it’s time for the match. He did a bunch of gaga not wanting to let the match start, and even grabbed the title belt from the referee right after the ref ordered the bell rung. Ahura kicked him in the knee to bring him down, hit him with an axe kick, and then knocked him out with a Buzzsaw Kick and pinned him. Norman deserved so much better than this. He is the future of the company. Don’t make him look like a clown.

ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS PRINCE AHURA- meh
Ahura is the same heel he has always been. He was, in fact, the one calling Norman all week. He portrayed this as trying to inform Norman that he was his challenger, but if that was the case, he wouldn’t have been calling Norman from an unknown number. They’re stablemates. Surely they have each other’s phone numbers.

TEAM wXw WRESTLING ACADEMY INTERVIEW- fine

ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS THE ARROWS OF HUNGARY- fine

wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Team wXw Wrestling Academy (“the Avalanche” Robert Dreissker & Anil Marik)(c) vs. Arrows of Hungary- 6.5/10
Oh. That was entirely clean, and a lot shorter and less dramatic than I was expecting. This was a perfectly fine match, with the Arrows going for exactly the plan of isolating Anil that Avalanche had predicted, and our babyfaces overcame it and got the win. Based on just how hard the “we want to face the Arrows because they wrestle cleanly” story had been pushed, I was certain the Arrows were going to turn heel here. Good for wXw for zigging instead of the expected zag, which will create doubt for all future situations.
That being said… this didn’t feel like it was a good enough match for the spot it was given. This is the semi-main event of a big show (and one that has a relatively weak world title match in the main event, at that). The stories in wXw are good, but this continues the worrying trend of them not delivering in the ring the way they used to. And it’s not a “well, they don’t have access to WALTER, Ilja, Metehan, Alexander James, Jurn Simmons, Absolute Andy, or Cara Noir thing at the moment, either (and, of course, they’re not bringing David Starr back, either). They have talented guys running around (Bobby Gunns, Marius Al-Ani, Avalanche, Emil Sitoci, Senza Volto, Norman Harras, and a lot of younger guys with lots of potential). They just don’t seem to want to give the matches as much time.
Dave Bradshaw pushed that Marik was “instrumental” in the win by stopping Icarus from breaking up the pin, but that doesn’t impress me. That happens all the time. If you want to put the kid over, let him get the pin.

ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS TEAM wXw WRESTLING ACADEMY- fine
Avalanche put over the Arrows of Hungary, and also put Anil over big.

wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE MATCH: Marius Al-Ani(c) vs. Levaniel- 6/10
Levaniel didn’t cut his usual comedic promo on the way to the ring. He did cut a promo once he got into the ring, but they didn’t subtitle it so I only picked up a few words. He didn’t say any of his usual stuff and did say “title” a lot, so I assume it was serious.
This match was very disappointing to me. My praise for the go-home segment for this match was centered on the fact that they had created an opening for me to be able to believe- just in those key split seconds between a two and a three count- that Levaniel could actually win. This match was devoid of those moments. Levaniel never hit his finisher and didn’t get any roll-ups for nearfalls at key moments. The physical execution of the moves was excellent and the wrestlers brought the emotion, but the match they put together did not take advantage of the groundwork that the story of their feud had laid in place. The match they put together was a random ten-minute match with the champion wrestling a midcarder, not a big show main event between a dominant champion and a likable underdog babyface who you thought just might have a shot.


This was a very disappointing show from wXw. You can just copy and paste a lot of what I said about the semi-main event here. wXw just plain isn’t giving its wrestlers the chance to succeed by not giving them enough time in these big matches. Four of the six matches on this show were either title matches or had important stipulations. Only one of those matches (and it wasn’t even any of the title matches) got more than twelve and a half minutes. The opening match, which had no title on the line or stipulations of any sort, and had very minor storyline build, got 12:32. The match that went longer than that was the one that wasn’t even a title match, and it was the second match on the card. Why the hell would you build a card like that?!
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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