NORMAN HARRAS GOES TO SEE EZEL AFTER LAST WEEK’S SHOW- interesting
He walks in on them resolving to no longer screw up. He needles them about the loss a bit saying that Bobby Gunns isn’t happy that their team lost and there will be consequences. EZEL stand up for themselves and demand to know why Bobby doesn’t show up himself if he’s so unhappy. Norman counters by asking why Metehan isn’t here. They tell him to never mind that and demand respect… and Norman shows them respect, and they agree to talk later.
It’s possible that I’m completely wrong about my “Norman Harras is a manipulating everyone for his own ends” theory and that thus everything I’m about to say is invalid because I’m viewing this segment through that prism, but I find it hard not to do so because otherwise the segment feels a little too… detailed… for a segment whose sole purpose was to convey that Gunns is unhappy with EZEL. He seemed to want to get them to stand up to him so he could then come across to them as someone willing to show them respect (perhaps in contrast to Gunns, who can’t be bothered to talk to them, and only rarely even talks to Metehan, despite their alliance, or maybe in contrast to Metehan, who almost every time we have seen them with him, he is either giving them orders or berating them.
EMIL SITOCI VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO- very good
wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE MATCH: Bobby Gunns(c) vs. Emil Sitoci- 7.75/10
Gunns not breaking the hold in the ropes should have been a DQ. I don’t like the ref having the discretion to decide “this guy is trying to get DQed so that he can retain his title” without a repeated pattern of behavior. I’d rather see the DQ called, and then the authority figure come out and restart the match with a “the title can change hands on a DQ or count-out” stipulation. Or, even better, just don’t do a spot where someone should be disqualified but isn’t.
These two had a GREAT match, with each guy working over the preferred body part (the neck for Sitoci, and arm for Gunns). This build very well, but also felt like it had another ten minutes left when the finish came. That was probably by design, as Sitoci kicked out at 3.0000000001, but the fact that it was by design doesn’t change the fact that the ending felt premature.
LEVANIEL CALLS AMALE OVER SKYPE- good
Levaniel tells Amale that he has gotten himself a match with Tristan Archer tonight to prove that he can beat a Frenchman because he knows she thinks he’s not good enough for her because he’s not French. She says she doesn’t care about that. What she cares about is that he wins, which he hasn’t been doing. She tells him that if he doesn’t win tonight, they are through because “I would rather walk alone that be with a loser.”
TRISTAN ARCHER vs. LEVANIEL- 4.75/10
Levaniel finally gets his big win. Good for him.
NICO’S SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH JURN SIMMONS- very good
Holy crap! Remember in my review of the previous episode when I said that Jurn saying he would tell us all what’s up with him next week felt like a forced way to delay a storyline revelation until the big show? Well they actually answered that here! The first thing the interviewer asked Jurn was why did wanted to wait a week before giving us insight into his mental state, and he gave the perfectly reasonable answer that he wanted some time to think out exactly what he was going to say and how to say it.
Jurn went on to explain his mind-state to us. There were lots of “likes” and “ums” and lots of looping back, which made it feel wonderfully organic. They also made it hard to summarize, but I think the best way to put it is like this. The layoff due to the pandemic gave Jurn a lot of time to think about his life. Between Jurn getting betrayed by Alexander James last year and his own ruining of his friendship with Dirty Dragan before that (and one could probably add David Starr the year before, too, but Jurn didn’t), Jurn has been questioning if wrestling is good for him, and thus he hasn’t felt the drive to succeed. He made it to the semifinals of 16 Carat Gold this year, which was the best showing of any wXw regular, and he was content with that… but the old Jurn wouldn’t have been content with just doing well.
He said that his win over Hektor Invictus last week, as well as being able to recently make amends with Dirty Dragan, and also his desire to wipe the smirk off of Marius Al-Ani’s face have all led him to decide to stay around for at least a bit longer to see if he gets his passion for wrestling back.
JURN SIMMONS vs. DENNIS ZINNER- squash
NICO INTERVIEWS DENNIS ZINNER- good
Zinner vows to improve and someday become a main eventer.
THE BABYFACE #1 CONTENDERS TRAIN BACKSTAGE- good
Fast Time Moodo & Stephanie Maze are doing punching pads. Killer Kelly is trying to prepare herself mentally. Kelly gives the other two a pep talk, but she seems to be having trouble focusing the way she wants to.
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH: Metehan(c) (w/EZEL) vs. Killer Kelly- DUD!
Before the match, Metehan cut essentially the same promo he cut on last week’s show about how he will never hit a woman. He is out here in his street clothes because he thinks that will get the match called off. He is told that the match will happen.
Metehan tried to leave the ring but Kelly pulled him back in via German Suplex. EZEL moved towards her, so Kelly went after them, too. By the time she hit the second one, he already had his hands up in a “no fighting” motion. I’ll give Kelly a pass due to adrenaline and the fog of war, but this is getting dangerously close to the area where this sort of feud can backfire, which is where you have the heel professing that he won’t hit a woman for chivalric reasons and actually follows through on that belief, at which point your babyface is beating up someone who she knows won’t fight back. When both got up, they were angry enough to at least throw a guard up, but even this was too much for Metehan, who ran over and started yelling at them and cuffing them in the back of the head.
Metehan tricked Kelly into necking herself on the ropes and went to leave but she was able to grab his foot and stop him. She eventually was able to goad him into attacking her by saying “you should treat women equally to men. Didn’t your mother teach you that?” Metehan took a shot or two at Kelly, grabbed her like he was about to go down for the crossface, but then he let her go and went to leave again, but she once again pulled him back with a German Suplex. Kelly took some shots at him and got him to charge at her but she clotheslined him down. She went for the hangman’s clutch but he countered it and locked in the crossface… and Kelly tapped out pretty much immediately. I’m not saying there can’t be a story here, but I think that almost any story that it’s a good idea to tell needs Kelly to at least have a nice, long, competitive match with Metehan, whether she wins or loses. This story is the woman trying to prove equality and failing pretty miserably, and that’s really not a story the majority of the population is going to want to see. Maybe this is chapter one of Kelly working her way back up and beating Metehan, but making a story longer is not always the best thing to do.
MARIUS AL-ANI vs. HEKTOR INVICTUS- 3/10
This was also short, and once again it didn’t go long enough to let Hektor look good in defeat. If they’re done with him then that’s fine, but if they’re not, they’ve pretty much killed him this season to the point where they might as well be done with him.
MARIUS AL-ANI’S POST-MATCH INTERVIEW- decent segment
Jurn Simmons came out, dressed like Nico but not hiding his identity at all, to do the interview. Marius did not take kindly to Jurn’s mocking questions and eventually went over to the camera and just cut a promo into the camera telling us how outraged he was by this mockery of a serious athlete like himself.
KILLER KELLY TELLS ALEXANDER JAMES ABOUT HER LOSS- good
AJ consoled Kelly and gave her a “keep your chin up” speech. The concept of Alexander James being a nice, normal boyfriend feels so weird.
wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Pretty Bastards(c) vs. Stephanie Maze & Fast Time Moodo- 7.75/10
This was a great babyface vs. heel match without the heels even doing too much cheating. They limited the cheating to key moments where it got you REALLY angry, and otherwise just got everything over by the force of their personalities alone: determined underdog babyfaces against completely douchebags. They had some great nearfalls and callbacks to their previous match, and it all culminated with a very exciting finishing sequence. It was also nice to see the newly pushed guys actually get a validating win here on Shotgun 2020.
ANYTHING GOES MATCH FROM THE wXw WRESTLING ACADEMY MATCH: “The Avalanche” Robert Dreissker vs. Norman Harras- 8/10
See… it’s not that hard to do a cinematic match without stupid, goofy bullsh*t. This was your usual realistic-feeling wXw backstage brawl, but it went for twenty minutes and it was a blow-off rather than just an angle, so they were able to get more violent. They had great intensity and good callbacks to other parts of the feud. Harras’ facials were excellent, especially on the finish. They have me extremely interested to see how he will handle this loss.
So... this was the big show at the end of the season. It certainly felt like it, with the full recaps before every match. Some of the booking was questionable and I certainly would have preferred for certain things to get more time, but on the whole, this was definitely an enjoyable watch, and mostly makes me feel like the many short matches I have watched over the course of this season were worth my time.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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Hold #712: ARM BAR!
FIP in 2005
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle
FIP in 2005
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle
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