wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Arrows of Hungary(c) vs. Fast Time Moodo & Stephanie Maze - 7.25/10
The story here was that Stephanie Maze re-injured her knee early on. She did a hell of a job of fighting through the pain, which absolutely tremendous selling, pretty much hopping around on one foot and only using that leg when absolutely necessary. She was eventually able to get the tag to Moodo, who ran wild. She got tagged back in herself and got some nearfalls, but the knee was too much and tweaking it but her in position for a Crossfire even after she had delivered a move to Dover (that’s how inured she was) and she got pinned.
I assume that the direction from here is Moodo turning on her because he pretty much put his career on hold for a year for her, but now she is once again the weak link. If that’s the direction they’re going in, Maze’s babyface performance here set up tremendously for it.
DAN’S INTERVIEW WITH HEKTOR INVICTUS I INTERRUPTED BY DENNIS DULLNIG - Meh. First Dan tells us that The Rotation was injured last night and won’t be able to compete in tonight’s #1 contendership Ladder match.
Hektor says that he hates Dennis and wants to choke someone every time hears Dennis’ name. Then Dennis shows up to annoy Hektor (and me) once again, but Hektor doesn’t make with the choking. WTF, bro?
Dennis insists that they can use a loophole in the rules to both win. Hektor leaves, and Dennis follows him, because Dennis is annoying.
BOBBY GUNNS vs. MICHAEL KNIGHT - 7/10
Bobby got quite the babyface reaction from the Oberhausen faithful, which is not the best sign for Knight, as this is wXw’s home base, and Knight’s push has all come away from the Turbinhalle and with limited fans in attendance. Things weren’t helped by a spot where he initiated one of those stupid “let’s take turns letting the other one hit us” chop battles, and then almost got pinned after Bobby just kicked him in the head instead.
These two had another great match. The last one was a time-limit draw, and this one was a controversial double count-out. Both wrestlers seemed to think that Knight had made it back into the ring and then been pulled out by Gunns, but the referee ruled that he hadn’t made it in enough and kept counting. I have to side with the wrestlers on this one.
The count-out came after a big wheelbarrow suplex onto the apron by Gunns, so he was the only one up for a…
POST-MATCH INTERVIEW - Good. Gunns shows Knight respect, but was upset that he couldn’t beat him… and worse, that everyone saw that he failed to beat him, including WALTER (I assume that a seed being planted). Knight was able to recover enough to also voice his frustration with the finish and told Bobby they should have another match. Bobby agreed, and said that Francis Kaspin should make it happen.
NORMAN HARRAS PROMO - Fine. He had a little interaction with Michael Knight on Knight’s way to the back, letting us know that Knight wants his belt back. Norman had a picture of him holding the title that he said was “art” and said he would sign after his successful title defense and auction off to the fans, so we know that Norman is about to lose the belt. Poor guy. Creative just seems to love breaking his mind instead of letting him run as the awesome heel he can be.
We do the stupid Shotgun Title lottery drawing and we wind up with…
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH:
Norman Harras(c) vs. Absolute Andy - 2/10
Andy’s got his hair back. He looks weird with it. Norman jumped the bell on Andy. Andy made a comeback, did his signature stuff, and won a short match.
I REALLY didn’t like this result. Yes, there are all sort of little artistic things here. Norman sneakily maneuvered his way into this title one year ago, and now he loses it (again) one year after. Yes, it brings us back to the Andy vs. Norman feud that seemed to be brewing while Andy was Director of Sport last year. Artistic little things like that are nice, but not if they get in the way of a character’s development, and that’s what it feels like has happened or Norman over the past nine months. They just keep breaking his mind by having him lose big matches cleanly (especially as pertains to the Shotgun Title) and it feels like he has been turned into a joke (and we saw this almost immediately, as Norman crawled up the ramp, setting up for Andy to hit him in the head with his fancy painting).
Taking the belt off of Norman here also feels like it derails what should have been a good rematch between Knight and Harras, as well. A potential feud between Gunns and Norman is still there over Gunns feeling that Norman has become unreliable, but it certainly feels less important if the Shotgun Title that Norman abandoned Bobby for is not on the line.
DAN INTERVIEWS AXEL TISCHER - Weird. Apparently despite the referee and everyone else thinking that Axel beat Jurn cleanly at We Love Wrestling #25, Director of Sport Francis Kaspin thought it was a double-pin, so that’s why Jurn is getting a title shot tonight. Unless you’re trying to turn Kaspin into a heel, this is just bad storytelling, and if you are turning Kaspin heel, that’s just a bad idea.
Maybe this was originally planned to be the much more logical Marius Al-Ani rematch but Marius had to isolate due COVID or something?
“THE AVALANCHE” ROBERT DREISKKER (w/Anil Marik) vs. VINCENT HEISENBERG (w/Baby Allison & Maggot) - 4/10
Just last night we had to bar people from ringside in this feud, but tonight we’re not going to do that?
Don’t be too surprised, but the people on the outside factored into the finish. The heels slid Heisenberg some sort of big box, which he hit Avalanche with for a DQ. Anil ran into prevent a second shot, but he got beaten up by Maggot and Baby Allison. People poured out from backstage to try to keep everyone separated.
WALTER vs. CARA NOIR - 8.75/10
As happy as the fans were to see Andy return, WALTER was a whole other level. The match was excellent. I don’t know how to describe it other than two guys who have very similar move-sets feeling like they were having a total clash of styles due to their general attitudes and characters.
WALTER PROMO - Nice stuff about having built something for the next generation and imploring the fans to support German wrestling.
BABY ALLISON, MAGGOT, & VINCENT HEISEBERG VS. TEAM wXw WRESTLING ACADEMY WILL TAKE PLACE AT BACK TO THE ROOTS… AND IT WILL BE A KAFIGSCHLACHT! - This was expected. I like that they’re just having the babyfaces go into it as a handicap match, because trying to shove some other woman into it on the babyface side would feel too forced at this point.
LADDER MATCH FOR A SHOT AT THE wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP AT BACK TO THE ROOTS 2022:
Aigle Blanc vs. Tristan Archer vs. Hektor Invictus vs. Dennis “Cash” Dullnig vs. Levaniel - 7.5/10
Major props to these guys for putting on a match where it felt like the focus was on people trying to get the contract, not doing ladder spots. The only exception was the spot where Dullnig had the match won but climbed back down to pull Hektor up so they could win “together” in this deluded world, which served its own story, and was still, in its own weird way, focused on the act of grabbing the contract. I did like the other little stuff they did with Hektor unwittingly setting up for Dennis to hit a famous double-team with him, but as I’ve said before, this storyline has gotten very long in the tooth for me, and I just want it to be over.
They did a good job of making Archer feel more heelish with those low blows, even if it’s not actually against the rules. There is just something about it that feels unnecessarily dirty, even when it’s legal, and so the first one to go that route- if they project the right attitude, which Archer certainly did here- will feel heelish in doing so. Levaniel getting the win was something of a surprise. I guess that of all of the possibilities, he is the only one who makes a potential Jurn title win in the main event feel a little more plausible (because it would be setting up a match-up of kinda-sorta tag partners), but I would have rather seen Aigle Blanc get the big win and the accompanying chance to show what he can really do in a big singles match.
DAN INTERVIEWS JURN SIMMONS - Good. He says he knows he can beat Axel and alludes to what would be the resulting partner vs. partner match against Levaniel.
wXw WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH:
Iva Kolasky(c) vs. Skye Smitson - 4.75/10
Kolasky won clean in a bit over seven minutes. This wasn’t bad or anything, but if they’re going to count on Kolasky to carry the division, she really has to get better.
wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE MATCH:
Axel Tischer(c) vs. Jurn Simmons - 7.5/10
The crowd was a lot more pro-Jurn than I was expecting. There were some great nearfalls in here, including two playing off of the “controversial” finish of their previous match. This time the finish resulted from Tischer getting the advantage after an “accidental” eye-poke, so either they’re going to turn Tischer heel (which seems crazy to me) or they’re trying to stall this out until they can really get someone else ready for a big title match (Bobby Gunns? Tristan Archer?).
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Fine. Levaniel came out to have a stare-down with Tischer.
This was quite the mixed bag of a show from wXw, although that certainly felt like an appropriate way to wrap up wXw’s 2021. Some stuff was great, other stuff was well-executed but felt like a waste of the abilities of the talent involved, and some stuff just didn’t deliver.