By Big Red Machine
From August 01, 2018
JUVENILE X WANTS ADVICE FROM ABSOLUTE ANDY - Andy turns him down for being a rookie loser even though he's not really that much of a rookie. Andy also suspects he's working with Marius Al-Ani, but tells him that if he ever needs him, he'll give him a call.
ILJA DRAGUNOV CALLS OUT ABSOLUTE ANDY - AWESOME SEGMENT! They trade barbs back and forth before Andy kicks Ilja in the nuts and beats him up but Ilja makes a comeback and this turns into a hell of a brawl. Andy comes out on top, and then declares that he's tired of being here and is leaving, but if his "buddy" really wants to prove himself, he can do so now. Juvenile X comes out and Andy tells him to take Ilja out. Ilja, unbreakable as he is, has no problem having a match in his weakened state, so we get...
JUVENILE X vs. ILJA DRAGUNOV - 4.5/10
A good babyface vs. heel match, with Ilja looking vulnerable due to the brawl with Andy but making his comeback and winning. This was decent for the time it got, other than the worst-looking Torpedo Moscow I think I've ever seen at the end.
THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE WOMEN'S DIVISION WILL BE... MILLIE MCKENZIE! - The ring announcer asks her to introduce herself to the crowd (though based on their chanting, they already seem pretty familiar with her). She tells them that she is from England and that she is eighteen years old. Did this just turn into a porno?
They ask Millie some questions about her wrestling background and the promotions she has worked for etc. She is the most smiley, "happy to be here" babyface you've ever seen. Then she got jumped from behind by Alpha Female... and the fans all cheered, even though they had been cheering Millie just moments earlier.
JAY SKILLET vs. PETE BOUNCER vs. "THE AVALANCHE" ROBERT DREISSKER - 4/10
Bouncer wins a short match when he steals Avalanche's pin on Skillet.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Bad. Because stealing a pin in a one-fall match does nothing to really build to an elimination tables match, we then had the babyfaces (and their tag team partners) set up to put the heel Skillet through a table (Francis Kaspin isn't here to save him tonight, I guess) but they argued over who would get to do it, until eventually Skillet recovered and threw Avalanche's partner Julian Nero off the top rope and through a table. This made the babyfaces look like total idiots.
JAY SKILLET PROMO - He's a heel... but I can't disagree with him that the babyfaces currently look like idiots.
LUCKY KID & MARIUS AL-ANI BACKSTAGE - Very good. We first get a recap of Ivan Kiev finding Pete Bouncer unconscious backstage on last week's show. We then got a recap of the simultaneous finals of the Shotgun Title #1 Contendership Tournament where Tarkan Aslan's interference backfired and he hit Lucky Kid instead of Marius Al-Ani, allowing Al-Ani to gain the advantage, which would lead to him picking up the win.
We then went to Lucky and Al-Ani having a conversation, with them both apologizing for Tarkan screwing up their match (Lucky for it happening because he wants to win on his own, and Al-Ani for taking advantage of it). Al-Ani promises to give Lucky Kid the first title shot if he wins the Shotgun Championship at Shortcut to the Top 2018.
Lucky says that not being able to keep an eye on his cousin and best friend Tarkan Aslan during this year's Kafigschlacht (wXw's version of War Games), blaming himself for Tarkan's injury. This comment about taking your eyes off of something important prompts Al-Ani to bring up his team with Absolute Andy... and specifically Andy turning on him, saying that the team was all about what Andy wanted and he never even realized it. He tells Lucky that "sometimes you need to take care of yourself" and that "things are not always what they seem." Full disclosure: I'm watching this after having seen Shortcut to the Top, and... let's just say these two comments take on an entirely different dimension by the end of that show.
Pete Bouncer and Ivan Kiev show up and Bouncer asks Al-Ani to leave because there is some very important RISE business that they need to discuss with Lucky. Al-Ani obliges and we move on to...
RISE (SANS TARKAN ASLAN) BACKSTAGE - Great! Lucky assumes that they're here to say that something needs to be done about Tarkan for again costing Lucky a match and so he preemptively defends Tarkan, saying that things just go wrong sometimes and it's nobody's fault. He then jumps down Bouncer's throat, saying that Bouncer is always the first one to criticize Tarkan, and even says that maybe Klinger was actually right and it was Bouncer who was really causing the problems. Bouncer tried to talk but Lucky told him he didn't want anything to do with him anymore and stormed off.
In addition to both being great, these two segments are an excellent example of what sets wXw's backstage segments apart from everyone else's. The dialogue truly feels natural and human.
BOBBY GUNNS' SMOKE BREAK - He cut a GREAT heel promo on Marius Al-Ani to build up to their Shotgun Title match at Shortcut to the Top.
Millie McKenzie vs. Alpha Female has been signed for next week!
WALTER vs. PETE DUNNE - 8.5/10
Dunne worked the arm, WALTER did WALTER stuff. It was awesome.
An excellent episode of Shotgun, hitting all of the go-home show points (although not well where the tag division was concerned), setting stuff up for next week, moving the RISE story along to where it needed to be for Shortcut, and giving us an awesome main event.