Earlier this month, wXw’s We Love Wrestling tour left the confines of Germany and took a trip over to London. There, they put together a card that could have been billed as wXw vs Progress. I’ve mentioned before that I think more indie companies should work together, so that relationship can only be a good thing, especially if it means we get shows like this.
Bobby Gunns defeated TK Cooper to retain the Shotgun Title
Bobby Gunns is a beloved man. The British fans warmed to him at 16 Carat, and they haven’t cooled off yet. He couldn’t stop the smile spreading across his face as they chanted his name. Although he had to be stopped from lighting up a cigarette by TK Cooper, those smoking laws really do hurt the gimmick.
If he continues putting on performances like this, that popularity will only grow. His attack on the arm of Cooper was reminiscent of Zack Sabre Jr which is perhaps the highest praise you can give a submission based offence. He was brutal in his continual assault as they built to him getting the win with the armbar.
TK deserves credit too, as he’s impressed me since his return. I didn’t see much of him pre-injury, but he’s a whole lot of fun. He also has a fantastic Axe Kick, which is a move that quite often looks silly. There were a lot of sharp sounding strikes in this one and while it was the Bobby Gunn show, Cooper made sure that people will remember his performance too.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Killer Kelly defeated Millie McKenzie
Some matches make sense. Who doesn’t want to see these two badasses try and murder each other?
For a few minutes at the start, there was a lot of mutual respect floating around. They were evenly matched and were shaking hands after each sequence. That didn’t last long.
Kelly was the first to break, using one of those handshakes to go for a German. With that betrayal, the dam came down. They began pounding on each other. A few seconds later, the suplexes started flying. After a series of Germans, Kelly came up bleeding from what looked like her eye. While I hope the cut wasn’t too bad, I also can’t deny that it made her look awesome. The blood dripping down her face played into the Killer part of her name.
If you like suplexes, you’ll love this. These two women are set to become stars in the next few years. I hope we see them drop each other on their heads many more times in the future.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Marius Al-Ani defeated Chris Brookes
Quick note: the crowd have been absolutely sensational at this show. They’ve been loud for everyone and are making everything feel that little bit more special.
These two started off with a handshake and some even wrestling. Then Chris Brookes started doing horrible things that involved inserting his finger in Al-Ani’s ear. That proved to be a mistake as Marius got pissed off and started throwing some stiff strikes. I’d have probably done the same.
Everything about this was good, but I came out of it wanting a little bit more. Al-Ani and Brookes went back and forth, the momentum switching between Chris working the arm and Marius the shoulder. Al-Ani also got to show off a few of the skills that gained him the Ninja nickname, that guy is so smooth that it’s a miracle he doesn’t slide out of the ring. However, something was missing. As they want into the finishing sequence, I couldn’t shake the impression that it was all too soon.
It’s possible that this was only me. I can’t put my finger on what I wanted, I just know I wanted it. The match failed to resonate with me on an emotional level despite its successes. Hopefully, you’ll watch it and find the connection that I missed.
Verdict: Three Stars
Aussie Open (Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher) defeated The Hunter Brothers (Jim and Lee Hunter)
The winners of this one earned themselves a spot in wXw’s World Tag League. Also, I have no idea which Hunter is which. Don’t judge me if I get it wrong.
I wish I could get them right because this was a hell of a performance. The Hunters are a team who often get overlooked. British wrestling’s boom period has seen some of the wrestlers who have been around for a while almost be forgotten, dismissed in the glow of shiny new acts. The new toys might seem more exciting, but that doesn’t mean the old ones are broken.
They were a perfect foil for Aussie Open too. Early on, they made the mistake of chopping Davis which led to them both eating some high-fives that meant they’ll never make that mistake again. Amazingly, they survived that and went on to isolate Kyle, using those years of experience to their advantage. The two of them rotated in and out of the ring, swapping position as they cycled through a series of double team moves. It helped that Kyle was going all out in selling their offence and has an unhealthy love of dropping himself on his head.
Sadly, you can do all the fancy shit you want, when Mark Davis comes charging into the ring he is going to fuck you up. Dunkzilla was fantastic here, bursting through a double clothesline and dealing out pain to everyone in his way. Aussie Open would eventually get the win with a Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) followed by a Fidget Spinner. This was great, make sure to watch it.
Verdict: Four Stars
Alexander James defeated Jack Sexsmith
Alexander James was not impressed with the antics of Jack Sexsmith. It almost worked for Jack, though, as he gained a bit of momentum. Right up until it wasn’t working anymore as he was served an uppercut for dinner.
From there, James began working the arm, setting up for the Code Of Arms. However, at no point in this match, was he dominating. Sexsmith was working well from underneath, as he created distance and even hit the LGBDT. Sadly for him, it wasn’t enough. The end came via a Rip-chord Elbow into a Spike DDT that gave James a win.
This was fun, but nothing special. It’s always nice to see Sexsmith and James has all the attributes to be a big deal. If he can get them together and gain some momentum, he could go far.
Verdict: Three Stars
Ilja Dragunov defeated WALTER, David Starr and Travis Banks to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Title
No-one was coming out of this match feeling fresh. Stiff kicks, lariats and, of course, chops for all.
All four of these men were over with the fans, although the Progress booking did come into play as some boos were sprinkled in the direction of Banks. They didn’t last long, as before long there was a lot of attempted murder going on. As WALTER went about lacerating Starr’s chest, I could swear the pain was coming out of the screen and over to me. It is both my favourite thing to watch and something that makes me genuinely uncomfortable at times.
This was a big match performance from WALTER. He was a beast, booting people across the ring and cementing himself as the big dog. The man is having an outstanding year as he seems incapable of putting on a bad performance. Whether it’s PCO or Dragunov across from him, he’s smashing everything into the top corner.
Talking of Dragunov, how good is that bastard? If you’ve read my 16 Carat review, you’ll know that it was my first experience of him and I’m already wondering whether it’s acceptable to name him as one of my favourite wrestlers. He oozes charisma and part of what makes WALTER look so great is that Dragunov is willing to let him murder him. His chest wasn’t fully healed from Carat, so it wasn’t long until the blood was oozing down it again. You wonder whether it will ever be normal at this point.
It says something about the quality of those two that wrestlers as talented as Starr and Banks are pushed into the background. Both men gave a great account of themselves but were set with an impossible task. If WALTER and Dragunov are in the ring, it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.
The finish saw Dragunov fight through a Stan Hansen to hit one of his own. He followed up with a Torpedo Moskau to Starr, and that was that.
It’s hard to put on a classic when there are four wrestlers involved. Storytelling is difficult when there are that many moving parts. Because of that, I have no doubt that a straight-up match between any pairing of these four would be better than what we got here, however, what we got here was still fantastic. Let’s just thank whatever deity you fancy that’s it not you waking up with your chest looking like someone’s run a cheese grater over it.
Verdict: Four Stars
wXw shows are always a joy to review. They go around two hours and are packed with great matches. Even the stuff that doesn’t click as well (in this case, Brookes vs Al-Ani) is never bad. Throw in a fantastic crowd, and this trip to London can be seen as nothing but a success. Let’s hope they come back soon.