SIX-WAY MATCH IN WHICH THE WINNER WILL RECEIVE A “SPECIAL SURPISE”:
Orsi vs. Peter Tihanyi vs. Masha Slamovich vs. Hektor Invictus vs. Aigle Blanc vs. The Rotation - 6.5/10
Other than one big spot that looked painfully cooperative, this was a good action opener. Orsi got the win, and as a result she will be entered into this year’s Femme Fatale tournament. I wound what would have happened if one of the men had won, since the men’s tournament that weekend is a tag team tournament.
PSYCHO MIKE & LEVANIEL PRE-MATCH SEGMENT - Fun. Psycho Mike cut a promo on his way to the ring vowing to bodyslam Levaniel. Apparently there is only on microphone backstage, so Levaniel had to go get the mic from Mike and instead of his usual pre-match schtick, he berated Mike. Mike began to cry, and when Levaniel- a dedicated spreader of love and good feelings- asked if there was anything he could do to make it better, Mike suggested that Levaniel allow him to give him a bodyslam.
Levaniel, of course, objected to this. Mike came in like he was going for a hug, but with his arms positioned to bodyslam Levaniel instead. Levaniel backed away and firmly told him “no” every time he approached. The fans wanted to see it, which also upset Levaniel.
This was like a parody of the overdone “HUG IT OUT!” stuff that has become popular over the past ten years, and I thought it was very funny. I know this sounds like the sort of thing I would hate, but there are two key elements that make this acceptable to me.
1. My understanding of Psycho Mike’s character is that he is not actually full-on crazy, but rather just a sneaky guy pretending to be crazy to throw people off or get advantages… and is also a little bit- but not fully crazy. Therefore, he faked sadness, and then asked for something that, in his crazy mind, he though would be acceptable or that Levaniel would fall for.
2. Levaniel did not consent to getting bodyslammed, or fall for any sort of trick that made him look like an idiot. This segment was fun, but did not need to make anyone look like an idiot in order to do so.
PSYCHO MIKE vs. LEVANIEL - 5/10
They built a story around Mike going for the bodyslam. He finally got it… and then he kept going for them, and the Levaniel managed to counter one into his finisher for the win.
ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS AVALANCHE - Meh. Avalanche said that because is interview was interrupted at True Colors, he will not be revealing why he turned heel. It seemed to me like he got a pretty full reason out. He pledged that after tonight, there will be “more question marks.”
CARA NOIR vs. AXEL TISCHER - 6.5/10
Both guys worked the neck. Cara Noir got the win the way he usually does in wXw: the opponent charges at him, and he catches the opponent in a Rear Naked Choke. I was quite disappointed that this didn’t even make it twelve minutes, but it’s quite possible that they’re heading for a rematch. Tischer walked off after the math, clearly frustrated.
ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS TRISTAN ARCHER - Okay. He bragged about defending his title against Axel Tischer at the previous show, and then built up his upcoming title defense against Jonathan Gresham. They planted the seed that Gresham could be at a disadvantage because he has to wrestle Avalanche tonight, while Archer asked for (and was granted) a day off.
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH:
Jurn Simmons vs. Vincent Heisenberg - 7.25/10
This was a great brawl. They played into the stipulation well and did some creative stuff with it.
Jurn got the win, which should help move him back into the title picture for after Archer beats Gresham. Weird as this seems to say, taking the loss in this weapons match here doesn’t feel like it hurts Heisenberg as much as beating a big monster heel should, because weapons won’t be available to his opponents under normal circumstances (and they certainly won’t be able to trap his arms around a post with a zip-tie and get free shots in at his head, like Jurn did). Good booking.
BABY ALLISON & MAGGOT vs. IVA KOLASKY & SEBASTIAN SUAVE - 5.75/10
Iva was a jerk to the referee before the match, so that solidifies her heel turn (and if that didn’t put her all the way on the wrong side of the line for you, the low blow at the finish should). Suave continues to be an annoying clown, but Iva was quite the good heel (I had never seen her as a heel before).
Baby Allison and Maggot would be good babyfaces if they had ever actually turned babyface instead of being the same people they were as heels but the crowd just decided to cheer them so suddenly they are getting booked against people the crowd doesn’t like instead of getting booked against people they do. As if to prove my point, when Iva hit Maggot with the aforementioned low blow, he was in the process of cheating. He had come into the ring illegally and was holding Baby Allison up to give her extra leverage on the submission she was applying.
Having Suave get the pin on Baby Allison was an unusual choice, as you’d think that in a match with two “babyface” champions against two heels where the heels are going over, you’d have one of the heels pin a babyface whose title that heel can actually challenge for, but apparently not. The only reason I can see for this is that they wanted a result where they had a logical reason to not give Iva a title shot but Iva will feel that she has deserves one, resulting in her getting more angry at management. This does do that, but if that’s your goal, you could accomplish the same thing by having Suave pin Maggot after a low blow from Iva, so that you still get Iva crossing the moral event horizon and Iva not pinning Allison, but you also get to set up a Shotgun Title match for Suave in a situation where Maggot is protected because of the dirty win, and will quickly prove that he wouldn’t have lost if not for the low blow by beating Suave in a one-on-one match to retain the title.
ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS SEBASTIAN SUAVE & IVA KOLAKSY - Bad. Or maybe it was just weird booking, and I was giving them too much credit. After Suave was a goof, Norman Harras came out and announced that both of them would be getting title shots tomorrow. Suave continued to be an obnoxious clown.
ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS ROTT & FLOTT - Decent. They took a shot at Aigle Blanc & Senza Volto, then claimed that Only Friends were just a “thrown-together” tag team and that tonight they would be Only Friends so badly that they would give up on teaming together.
ELIMINATION TABLES MATCH FOR THE wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES:
Rott & Flott(c) vs. Only Friends (Bobby Gunns & Michael Knight) - 6.75.10
Rott & Flott jumped the bell on Only Friends. This stipulation is completely random. I know that it’s the “hardcore matches” show, but you should still at least build towards the gimmick of the gimmick match.
Rott & Flott retained the titles. Gunn’s leg was but pretty badly on the finish. Medical personnel got to him quite quickly, so that was good.
ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS JONATHAN GRESHAM - Fine. He says he will beat answers of out of Dreissker if he needs to.
“THE AVALANCHE” ROBERT DREISSKER vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM - no rating, frustrating segment
This started off as a good, intense brawl, but alas, that was as good as things would get. We soon got a ref bump. Avalanche took over (cleanly), hit the Dreissker Bomb, but there was no referee to count the pin. He eventually got annoyed with the fans booing him and went to leave, but may of the wXw Wrestling Academy students who he had turned his back on blocked his way. Instead, he just went up the ramp… only to find his way blocked by the Arrows of Hungary and Laurance Roman (he has also had issues with the Arrows recently). They backed him down the ramp… but then turned and joined him, and they all attacked Gresham for the DQ. The students (and other babyfaces) tried to help, but they all got beaten up as well.
Obviously this is a new heel stable forming, but we’ve already got a heel stable at the top of the card in the Archer/Rott & Flott trio, and possibly a big heel turn coming with Axel Tischer, so I don’t really see a spot for these guys as a group. The babyface side already feels thin with recent turns and injuries to Stephanie Maze and Anil Marik (and will become thinner of Tischer turns… and now we’ve got a potential injury to Bobby Gunns as well), so turning the Arrows feels like a bad idea.
The randomness of the turns is also a strike against it. We saw things that, in hindsight, clearly triggered Avalanche to turn against his students. We have seen nothing that could even be construed that way with the Arrows, and as for Roman… quite frankly, I have no idea why he would be involved in this group at all.
Then there was the execution of this, relying on a frustrating Russo-Swerve. If Avalanche wanted to walk out on the match, why did he have a team of guys ready to help him fight? If the plan was for his new group to help him beat Gresham up why did he try to walk out?
Yes, there are some mechanical puzzle pieces that fit together here: This DQ lets you avoid having Avalanche get beaten while also not having to beat Gresham on the show before his title shot, and it also sets up an excuse for him to lose his title shot tomorrow (which might have been done to set up another title shot down the line for him, to placate AEW that the ROH World Champion wasn’t being jobbed out, or both). But just because you can make certain puzzle pieces fit together in a clever way does not mean the direction is a good one, and it’s even worse when you’re also sacrificing the main event of a bigger show to do it.
This was a disappointing show from wXw. Most of the big matches didn’t feel like they were given the chance to deliver, either by being short-changed on time or sacrificed for the sake of an angle. Throw in some frustrating booking, and we’ve got a promotion that feels like it is flailing at the moment, looking for something that will become that next big idea to build around.