JAY SKILLET (w/Francis Kaspin) vs. EMIL SITOCI (w/Dirty Dragan) - 6.25/10
The story here was that pretty much every time Dirty Dragan tried to interfere to help Sitoci it wound up backfiring. At one point Sitoci angrily shoved him and he fell into Kaspin, who then punched Dragan out. Some of the backfiring interference was right in front of the ref and involved shoving Skillet off the top rope (but he fell onto Sitoci), so it should have been a DQ. Skillet kicking out of the Snapmare Driver, an important move in this student vs. teacher feud, felt really big... but between that kick-out and all of Dirty Dragan's backfiring interference Sitoci winning felt very odd, and him and Dragan celebrating together made it even more awkward.
TIMOTHY THATCHER vs. ALEXANDER JAMES - 7/10
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH:
Da Mack vs. "The Avalanche" Robert Dreisseker - 6/10
BOBBY GUNNS vs. WALTER - 7.5/10
WALTER had previously said that Gunns wasn't at RingKampf's level despite his victory over Timothy Thatcher at Fans Appreciation Night 2017. Tonight Gunns tried to prove it. He worked over WALTER's arm in... not quite clean but not totally heelish ways. WALTER for his part, worked the head, and got the win with the Gojira Clutch. The match was hard-fought, so WALTER offered Gunns a sign of respect after the match by offering him a handshake... and Gunns responded to this by flipping WALTER off and walking away.
wXw WOMEN'S TITLE TOURNAMENT MATCH:
Martina vs. Melanie Gray - no rating, decent comedy match.
Melanie is wearing Snow White-inspired gear that is disturbingly attractive. And yet also very classy, because Melanie Gray is a f*cking Disney Princess, dammit. Compare that to Martina, who is wearing the same ratty old outfit she always wears, and is now rubbing her ass into a fan's crotch. Martina then went to dance in the ring. Melanie joined in with her, but also did the worm, because even at dancing- the only thing Martina is good at- Melanie is still better.
Now Martina appears to have become very dizzy and/or nauseous from her own dancing. It certainly made me sick. Maybe you shouldn't drink so much beer before your match, there, Martina? Just a thought. Martina then pulled a cigarette out of her bra and was about to smoke it but Melanie stopped her and explained to her that smoking is bad for you. Yup. She's definitely Disney. This angered Martina, who shoved Melanie, and this started the match.
Martina did her usual beer-spitting and her spot where she tries to do a dive but instead just runs around and becomes winded and/or too drugged out to do it. She also rubbed (thankfully-covered) lady parts on Melanie's face. Is this not, like, sexual harassment? This woman is clearly in no condition to perform, harasses her colleagues, cheats in her matches, and generally acts trashy. Why is she employed?
On commentary, Rico Bushido told us that he had Martina on his podcast recently and she claimed to always be the "the first one to hit the pub and the last one standing." Adam Pollak responded to this by saying "I believe that because, honestly, I doubt the second to last person would take her home." I laughed my ass off at that.
Melanie went to drink some of Martina's beer to prevent her from powering up with it, which got Martina very upset and helped fuel her comeback. Despite my brutal burial of Martina (which she does, in fact, deserve), this was a pretty fun little comedy match. I thought the finish was botched, but it's also not impossible that Martina's finish actually his jumping off the top rope and hitting her opponent in the head with her boobs.
TEN-MAN ELIMINATION TAG TEAM MATCH:
Team wXw (Jurn Simmons, David Starr, A4, & Ilja Dragunov vs. RISE ("Bad Bones" John Klinger, Pete Bouncer, Ivan Kiev, & the Young Lions) - 5.75/10
With our heels all assembled in the ring, the babyfaces wait on the stage until each of them has made his entrance so that RISE can't get the jump on them without all five of them being there. Then Ilja Dragunov just says "f*ck it" and charges down the ramp anyway, going right for Klinger. He double-legs the wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion... and lucky for Ilja RISE was so shocked by this crossing of the line between brave and crazy that by the time they all come in to try to pull him off, his teammates have also recovered from their shock at him going all Leeroy Jenkins and were right there to bring the fight to the rest of RISE while Ilja pounded away at Klinger.
Klinger managed to get Ilja off of him and knock Ilja down... but unfortunately for Klinger he did so right when the rest of Team wXw had dumped the other members of RISE out of the ring, and he was no surrounded by Jurn, Starr, Marius Al-Ani, & Absolute Andy. He got pinballed around for a bit, but his buddies saved him form a quadruple superkick by pulling the babyfaces out of the ring, but Ilja was now back and he and Klinger faced off once again.
Klinger got the best of that exchange but soon found himself being pummeled by Absolute Andy. They brawled up to the stage and Andy went for a Piledriver but Klinger countered it into a back body drop. More stuff happened in the ring, and before you knew it we wound up with Klinger and Andy facing off in the ring again.
The first fourteen minutes or so of this match was very odd to watch because it was basically a big giant brawl, but because of the very small ring wXw uses and the lack of space between the ring and the first row, all we really ever saw was the two guys fighting in the ring, who were almost always Klinger and Andy. At one point guys started to use weapons and the referee seemed to be okay with it, but then, at the next available double-down, he went to the ring announcer and had him announce that the four guys who had used weapons (both Young Lions and both members of A4) were disqualified. This was handled in an extremely odd way, and I don't the blame the fans for calling it "bullsh*t."
After the two tag teams had been dismissed, the match settled down to being a traditional match, presumably because there really wasn't enough room for four wrestlers on each team on the apron at the same time. We had a short amount of "normal" tag team wrestling before Starr eliminated Kiev. Then Simmons eliminated Kiev immediately after that. Then, while the referee went to check on Kiev to make sure he was okay after the massive Piledriver that Jurn gave him, Klinger kicked Jurn in the gonads and hit him a Double- Arm DDT, and when the ref turned around he saw that pin and counted it. This left Ilja Dragunov down two-on-one... for about a minute or so. Then he rolled up Pete Bouncer for the pin and now we're down to one-on-one in a shockingly short amount of time. I don't think anyone even made a tag; new guys just became legal because someone on their team got eliminated.
This left us with Klinger (the champion) and Ilja (his next challenger) and Ilja, his next challenger, one-on-one. These two definitely work well together, and I've thought that the "overbooking" in this feud (and there was what felt like a lot of it here) has usually been well done and been much more of a boon than a bane, but I just couldn't get into it in this situation. I think a big part of the problem was that this match didn't know what it wanted to be. It was supposed to be a Survivor Series-style big elimination tag match, but started off as a weapons brawl with lots of focus on just one of the heel vs. two different babyfaces, then weapons got involved and it seemed like it was going to be a weapons brawl... but then the awkwardly-timed DQs came. Then it seemed like they were going to give us a smaller version of the promised elimination tag, but then they narrowed it down to one-on-one within about two minutes. It felt like they really wanted to just book Ilja vs. Klinger in a singles match but realized they couldn't because it wouldn't make any sense to do so without just making it a title match, and they needed to wait to do the title match until Da Mack lost to Julian Nero and Cerberus reformed at the next show so in an attempt to have their cake and eat it to, they set up this big elimination tag that they basically bait-and-switched into Ilja vs. Klinger one-on-one but without the title on the line to give Ilja the big win over Klinger going into the title match.
One other factor that I think hurt this match- and specifically related to the overbooking- was how much that part of the match felt like it dragged. They rushed to the one-on-one portion of the match, and then, when they got there, they tried to slow it down into this big cacophony of overbooking and kick-outs, and by the end I was getting tired of it. After low one or two "low blow plus move" spots (which, to their credit, have been established as a running theme of RISE's cheating) led to kick-outs, plus interference and counter-interference, and the ref stopping Klinger from cheating once or twice and then Ilja finally hits the Torpedo Moscow my first thought "YAY! Ilja's going to pin him; it was "it's going to be over now, right?" And then Ivan Kiev pulled the ref out of the ring and punched him out, ensuring this match would continue for several more minutes, which continued the run-ins and kicking out of big moves and so forth until, in what was probably my favorite spot in the entire match, Tarkan Aslan tried to toss Klinger one of RISE's many title belts (they've got all three of wXw's championships), but Absolut Andy dove in to make a wonderful NFL highlight reel interception. Ilja then hit Klinger with another Torpedo Moscow to finally- mercifully- end this.
This was a pretty disappointing show from wXw. WALTER vs. Gunns was great, but nowhere near as great as it was cracked up to be, and between it and Thatcher vs. James, the two best matches on the card were over with rather early on. While both Gunns vs. WALTER and the Shotgun Title #1 contendership match would go on to have significant ramifications for all of those involved and the main event did help move along some of the smaller feuds with the larger RISE vs. wXw sphere, the fact that the main event and the #1 contendership match did not deliver in the ring hurts this show. Throw in the awkward booking in the opener, and you've got an unfortunately disappointing show from a promotion having an otherwise hot year.