Going into a new promotion for the first time is an exciting thing as a wrestling fan. You never know what you’re going to get and while there will probably be a few familiar faces, there’s going to be a handful you’ve never seen before. Which brings us nicely to my first dive into wXw.
With wrestling doing well all over the place it’s perhaps no surprise that Germany has followed along. It’s always been a stronghold of European graps and with the likes of Walter chopping the shit out of people over there how can you not to be enticed into having a look? What better time to start than with their first big show of the year. Let’s dish out some stars.
Martina defeated Melanie Grey in a Hardcore Match
I’m picking up the stories as I go along so forgive me if I don’t nail the nuances. This was a grudge match, Grey attacked Martina before the final of the Women’s Title Tournament meaning the Session Moth was replaced by Killer Kelly. When Grey went on to lose anyway, she wasn’t happy. Before either could get a title shot, they had unfinished business.
The was always going to come down to how Martina’s act translated to a hardcore environment. She’s not exactly a blood and guts wrestler, a fact that played into the story here. It looked like her propensity for fun was going to stop her getting the win. Taking an instant to grind on her opponent or have a swig of beer was getting in the way of the serious business of swinging chairs.
All of which doesn’t take into account the painkilling effects of being pished. Despite being Finlay Rolled onto tacks and having all sorts of other nasty stuff done to her, Martina was able to get the win with a chair-assisted Codebreaker. As a newcomer to Grey, it’s hard to judge her on a hardcore outing that while not bad, is unlikely to stick in the memory for long.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Up next, we had a promo exchange between Absolute Andy and Bobby Gunns. Both men were smoking during it which was weird. I’m not going to go in-depth on their skills with a microphone. It’s hard to pick things up when the commentator has to translate as we go. The long and short of it was that they set up a non-title match for later in the night.
Jurn Simmons defeated Dirty Dragan
This was all about the storyline, and as someone tuning in for the first time, it didn’t mean much to me. From what I gather these two used to be friends, but now they’re not. That seems to happen a lot in wrestling.
It led to a squash. A couple of hope spots aside, Simmons dominated Dragan in the ring and then attempting to decapitate him afterwards with a kendo stick. I can in no way call it bad, it just was what it was. If you’re invested in these characters, it will probably mean a lot more to you.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Da Mack defeated Chris Colen
Da Mack cosplayed as Michael Jackson at the Cruiserweight Classic. Now he’s wearing creepy contact lenses and acting brainwashed. I don’t know much about Colen apart from this being off the back of him leaving big bad faction RISE and Mack joining them.
One thing I do know about Colen is he doesn’t have much chemistry with Mack. There was no flow to this one. Da Mack is trying to play a ruthless killer, showing no emotion towards his opponent. However, in there against someone so much bigger than him it looked strange. You never bought his dominance.
To their credit, the final few minutes picked up a bit. Colen got to go on the offensive, and his combination of power and athleticism was a lot of fun. There’s the potential for these two to have a better match as the structure might have been the problem rather than the wrestlers.
Verdict: Two Stars
Absolute Andy defeated Bobby Gunns in a non-title match
Can we take a second to appreciate the names Absolute Andy and Bobby Gunns? They would not look out of place on an 80’s wrestling poster with Big Daddy and Haystack Calhoun.
Sadly, the names couldn’t save this from the non-title curse. The second you knew this wasn’t for the belt, you also knew it was going to result in an Absolute Andy win. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they put the belt on the line?
And in a match that relied heavily on Gunns working Andy’s arm and locking in an armbar, that is an issue. If you don’t expect the guy to tap, the tension is gone. You know he’ll probably escape. And he did. Again and again and again.
Nothing about it was bad. In fact, it was pretty decent. However, when you know what the finish is going to be, it’s hard to get invested. With the title on the line, these two could smash it out the park. It worked more like a teaser for that than anything else.
Verdict: Three Stars
Toni Storm defeated Killer Kelly to win the wXw Women’s Title
I love a sprint.
The story here was that Kelly had fluked her way to the title and was now a massive underdog against the veteran Toni Storm. Although twenty-two-year-old Storm being the more experienced wrestler is scary.
What made it work was that it was clear Kelly knew she was on the back foot. She shot out of the gates, desperate to try and steal the win and get out of there as fast as possible. Unfortunately for her, Storm was ready.
These two went on to have a hard-hitting fight on the outside. At times Kelly was able to get the upper hand, dodging Storm’s first attempt at a hip attack into the chairs and even hitting a sequence of suplexes in the ring.
Sadly, when things calmed down and Toni was able to steady herself there was only going to be one winner. The story was that Kelly might have all the heart in the world, but right now Storm is better.
And it is a great story. The ability to script loses is one of wrestling’s greatest strengths. Kelly only becomes more sympathetic because of this. She reached the top for a second and wasn’t good enough to cling on. Now she has to go away, get better and climb that mountain again.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Monster Consulting (Avalanche and Julian Nero) and Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher and WALTER) defeated RISE (Ivan Kiev, John ‘Bad Bones’ Klinger, Lucky Kid and Tarkan Aslan) in Käfigschlacht
Käfigschlacht is essentially War Games with one cage. They’ve even got the victory by submission stip. I have no idea what Käfigschlacht means and that probably adds to it sounding evil as hell.
We started off fantastically. Bad Bones and Walter stepped into the ring and started throwing themselves at each other like two motherfucking Elephant Seals. You could see the marks of war beginning to appear on their body, but they kept getting up and doing it again. For five minutes, they put on one hell of a show.
Then the usual War Games’ issue hit. The next section involved the wait for everyone to get in the ring and it slipt into the standard formula. A member of RISE would enter, and they would take control, using the numbers game to dominate. Then a member of Monster Consulting or Ringkampf would even it up and the momentum would swing towards them. It wasn’t bad, it was just predictable.
Thankfully, it all led to a frantic closing car crash. From when Avalanche hit the ring onwards, this was chaos. There were chairs, tables and people bumping all over the shop. It was eight big men (and Bouncer helping RISE out) doing big men things.
What made it special, though, was that it wasn’t only chaos. There was a story here, and as a newcomer, both the commentary team and the wrestlers did a great job getting that across. RISE might be a team, but they aren’t unified. Every time they looked to be getting the action under control, they’d start to bicker. The Young Lions would fall out with the rest of the team or Bones would get pissed off at his minions’ incompetence. They gave Ringkampf and Monster Consulting the opening that they needed.
An opening which they took. Using the old divide and conquer tactic, Walter got Bones in the ring where when push comes to shove, he has his number. He was able to get him on the mat and force him to tap.
This is a template for how to do big multi-man car crashes. While it wasn’t the greatest match of all time, it had a fluent story that helped it overcome any deficiencies.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
My first wXw show was far from perfect. I had some issues with the production, in particular, the entrance themes. I assume using licensed music is off the table, but having the same awful rock song for every one was tough on the ears. It was also dubbed over the sound of the fans which was a real shame. On the flipside, I did like the look of the arena. The darkened lighting and the crowd surrounding the ring made it feel underground and dangerous.
As for in the ring, it was a bit of a mixed bag. The final three matches were good, and nothing was necessarily awful. However, it felt like a show that was setting up the future. Which, with this being their first event of the year, is fine. There was enough to make sure I will be coming back in the future. In that regard, it was a job well-done.