THE NEW HEEL FACTION CUT A PROMO AFTER WORLD TAG TEAM LEAGUE - Fine. Pretty Bastards cut a good promo. Norman Harras didn’t say much, but definitely has an aura of star power and confidence about him. Bobby Gunns suggests that Harras hitting his teammate David Starr in the second round of the tournament in their match against the Pretty Bastards was not the accident in originally seemed to be.
wXw WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH: Amale Winchester(c) vs. Killer Kelly- 5.75/10
Another match where the babyface kicks Amale’s but Amale always manages to hit her move and get the win.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. A mystery appeared and attacked Killer Kelly. When I call her a mystery woman I don’t mean that she was wearing a mask or something like that. Her face was completely exposed, but no one had any idea who she was. Her finisher appears to be the Cross Rhodes/Test Drive/Roll of the Dice. Kelly took a fantastic bump for it, like it was a DDT instead of a rolling cutter. It looked awesome.
“THE VILLAINESS” SKYE SMITSON PROMO - Good. She is the woman who attacked Killer Kelly. She is a mean heel. Her delivery was very good.
ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS KILLER KELLY - Kelly was very good here with the short, effective promo. She expressed frustration at being assaulted, then finished it off with a simple “Karsten Beck: Book that match.”
KARSTEN BECK & AMALE WINCHESTER BACKSTAGE - Odd. Karsten congratulates Amale on her victory but Amale ignores his congratulations and complains about having to defend her title so often. Karsten tells her “I know what you need” and claps her on the shoulder. I imagine Amale will not be pleased with whatever Karsten books next.
JULIAN PACE & THE ROTATION MEET UP OUTSIDE THE ARENA EARLIER TODAY - Odd. Jurn Simmons walked past them. That’s all that happened. Yes, they mentioned that The Rotation will be wrestling Alexander James tonight and let those who were unaware know that The Rotation recently returned to wXw for the first time in three years, but the latter could have been done by the announcers and they didn’t do anything to make me want to see James vs. Rotation more like cut a promo so I don’t know what purpose this served.
JURN SIMMONS vs. GOLDENBOY SANTOS- no rating, fine squash
Santos jumped the bell on Jurn but Jurn made his comeback quickly and squashed Santos like a bug.
FOOTAGE OF THE NEW HEEL FACTION JUMPING TIMOTHY THATCHER AFTER WORLD TAG TEAM FESTIVAL - Fine. The others hold Thatcher down while Bobby Gunns tells Thatcher that he will take his wXw Unified World Wrestling Title back next month in Dresden.
THE SMOKE BREAK WITH BOBBY GUNNS - He cut a promo building up his above-mentioned rematch for the title with Timothy Thatcher. The rest of his new stable just stood there in the background.
OLIVER CARTER vs. NORMAN HARRAS- 4.5/10
Carter won clean in a relatively short amount of time, which is shocking considering that Harris just helped form the new top heel stable and seemed like he was on track for the first push of his career.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Very disappointing.After Carter leaves, Pretty Bastards come out to help Norman Harras up. VollGasteren then came out and Julian Pace cut a promo on everyone. He said that Harras’ comments out the wXw Academy were a disgrace, and that VollGasteren did not advocate for Pretty Bastards to be their replacements at World Tag Team Festival so that they could win in such a dishonorable fashion. Pretty Bastards tried to justify their cheating in various ways but VollGasteren wouldn’t have it.
Oliver Carter then came back out to show VollGasteren some footage on his cellphone, which was shown to us viewers at home on the screen as well (they can do this because they freely admit that the show is post-produced). This was footage of the Crown promo during which we saw Pace go into a bathroom in the background where he would be jumped. Instead of zooming in on Pace as the cameraman did, this camera instead tracked the assailant and zoomed in on the room he entered, where we were able to briefly see him conferring with Pretty Bastards before they ran into the bathroom to check on Julian, revealing that they were in cahoots with the attacker (who was probably Harras).
Okay… how did Carter get this footage? And why didn’t he (or, if he just got it right now, the person he got it from) bother to tell VollGasteren or anyone else about it until right now? It would have been much better to just have Pretty Bastards attack VollGasteren from behind and make the reveal themselves.
After the big reveal, Leon van Gasteren cut an a very angry “I’m so disappointed in you two” promo while Julian Pace… um… paced… angrily in the background. DUDES! THEY SET YOU UP! Leon, if you want to bash their heads in, DO IT! I understand that they didn’t want to screw themselves out of their tag title match tonight by injuring Pretty Bastards, but the result was making what should have been a big moment- a reveal they have been building to for over two months now (since the initial attack on Leon at Shortcut to the Top)- feel extremely anticlimactic. The babyfaces should have sought revenge immediately, not stormed out of the ring and promised to get revenge later.
PETE BOUNCER (& IVAN KIEV) PROMO - Good. Bouncer talks about how Schadenfreude has been reduced to almost nothing in wXw and says he will finish the job by himself. He challenges the last remaining member, Lucky Kid, to a Baseball Bat on a Pole match at Broken Rules XIX. Lucky has apparently accepted the challenge, because this match is officially booked.
PURGE CLUB vs. DANIEL SPARKS & PARIS - squash
Paris’ name actually includes an upside-down A because I guess he thinks it’s cool or something, but I’m not going to waste my time figuring out how to type one of those.
DAVID STARR & KARSTEN BECK BACKSTAGE AFTER WORLD TAG TEAM FESTIVAL - Fine. Karsten thanks Starr for saving him from Ilja but asks Starr to not keep bothering Ilja and WALTER (when WALTER decides to show up) because he doesn’t want matches on his show to constantly get screwed up. Starr is upset with this and says it’s his raison d’être so he’s not going to stop… unless Karsten provides him with some incentive in the form of another goal to strive for. Karsten suggests the Mitteldeutschland Cup but Starr tells him to think bigger. He wants a shot at the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship. Of course, Starr knows that Ilja wants one, too, since Ilja said so last night, but he doesn’t say this out loud. Karsten knows this too, of course, but also knows that Starr will certainly try to ruin any future matches Ilja has if he doesn’t given to Starr’s demands, so Karsten buys himself some time by saying that he’ll think about it.
LEVANIEL, AVALANCHE, & ABSOLUTE ANDY SEGMENT - Oodles of fun. Levaniel cut a promo that can only be described as “peak Levaniel” explaining to us that he wanted this match with Avalanche so that he could beat him and earn a title shot and win the Shotgun Title because he needed a shiny gold belt to become even more glorious and sparkly. Avalanche came out for what was originally supposed to be a singles match but Absolute Andy came out afterwards and cut a promo on both of them, including pointing out that he eliminated Avalanche from Shortcut to the Top. He said this should be a triple threat match. Avalanche asked the fans if they wanted to see that and they -agreed, so with the fans’ permission and all of the wrestlers in agreement we got…
LEVANIEL vs. “THE AVALANCHE” ROBERT DREISSKER vs. ABSOLUTE ANDY (w/Francis Kaspin) - 4.75/10
An entertaining mix of action and comedy.
AVALANCHE CONFRONTS ABSOLUTE ANDY BACKSTAGE - Great. Avalanche yells at Andy for once again trying to take the spotlight from a younger wrestler. Andy says that he wants to win the Shotgun Championship because it is the only thing in wXw he hasn’t accomplished yet (although I don’t think he has won World Tag Team Tournament/League/Festival yet, either). Avalanche says he’ll give Andy a shot at the title, but if Andy loses, he never gets another shot at the title again. Andy was extremely entertaining, and Avalanche was also rather entertaining in the way he was not entertained by Andy being entertaining.
BOBBY GUNNS vs. “TINY” TIM STUBING - no rating, good squash
Bobby Gunns torture-squashed this poor kid while simultaneously mocking wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion Timothy Thatcher.
ALAN COUNIHAN INTERVIEWS TIMOTHY THATCHER - awesome promo by Thatcher on Bobby Gunns
ALEXANDER JAMES vs. THE ROTATION - 4.5/10
James wins clean.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Jurn Simmons attacks James on his way to the back. Jurn gets AJ up for the powerbomb but AJ gouges his eye and escapes. I like Jurn still using heel tactics here, as he hasn’t really done anything to turn babyface yet so much as he is a heel who was turned on by his heel partner out of fear that Jurn himself would turn on that partner (like Jurn has done to all of his other partners).
POST-MATCH SEGMENT, PART 2 - Didn’t like it. Jurn caught up to James backstage and they kept fighting until Karsten Beck ran in and singlehandedly broke it up by sticking his arms between them. Karsten then lectured them about breaking his rules. The speech about not wanting to have any wXw crew or fans get injured (he also brought up their brawl by the merch table the night after the turn) was good, but having him separate them singlehandedly and then lecture them about breaking the rules for fighting backstage made them seem like kids getting yelled at by their teacher. This would have been a lot better if they were being held back by security. Karsten says that if they want to fight each other so badly, they can show up to Broken Rules and take their fight where it belongs: in the ring.
wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Pretty Bastards(c) vs. VollGasteren (Leon van Gasteren & Julian Pace) - 8.25/10
Major props to Andy Jackson for the way his commentary humanized the Pretty Bastard’s, which actually makes them much more effective heels to me, as rather than the cartoon character-level motivations we often get in pro wrestling, having their motivations for betraying their friends be more relatable makes them so much easier to be angry at.
The match itself was an awesome babyface in peril type of grudge match, with a red-hot crowd and a nearly heart-breaking finish that still gives us some hope for the future. Hopefully, the next time these two teams meet, Julian Pace will learn not to go for a fancy move when he can just go for the pin. This was exactly the kind of showing that it needed to be, both to show that both of these teams can carry the spot that they are being put in, and also to give us some truly worthwhile wrestling on what was otherwise just a set-up show.
PRETTY BASTARDS INTERVIEW - Good heel stuff, but I’m not really sure why the Arrows of Hungary are getting a title shot (Maggot is right that they beat them in the World Tag Team Festival finals, and they hadn’t done anything illegal by that point), or why it’s a TLC match.
This was basically a bunch of storyline segments followed by an awesome main event. In other words, it’s a one-match show, and I’m fine with that for these “Road to…” shows, so long as we get some good storyline advancement. They certainly advanced storylines on this show, but I wasn’t a fan of a lot of the advancement they did, so the best I can really do is say this show was merely “fine” while urging you all to watch the main event, which really is worth going out of your way to see.<