wXw Fans Appreciation Night 2018: Hamburg Review

wXw recently took a weekend to appreciate their fans, isn’t that delightfully pleasant of them? They’re doing so by having our da fight our kinky socialist uncle which I’m totally down for. Although not in a weird way. Fuck, did I make it weird?

I’m struggling to come up with family connections for the rest of the card, so I’ll leave it there. Let’s watch some wrestling.

Monster Consulting (Avalanche and Julian Nero defeated Jay FK (Jay Skillet and Francis Kaspin) to retain the wXw Tag Team Titles

All the work wXw have put into getting Jay FK over as heels paid off here. The Hamburg crowd was rabid for Monster Consulting and wanted to see those pesky brats put in their place.

It was also an excellent example of old-school tag team wrestling. The core of this bout was built around Jay FK keeping Julian Nero in their corner and working him over. With every second that went by, you could see Avalanche getting more worked up as he reached out in vain for the tag. The important part was that the fans were right there with him, begging for him to get into the action.

When he finally did the place exploded, and the match quickly followed. The final few minutes were a frantic display of these two teams showing what they could do. Jay FK’s in-ring has suffered in recent months as they looked to establish the gimmick, but here we saw them both continue to push their new characters and delivering between the ropes. While they ended up staring up at the lights, this performance proves that they should be getting their grubby little hands on those belts sooner rather than later.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Chris Brookes defeated Fred Yehi

Fred Yehi is going to spend some time in wXw which feels like a perfect match. He’s gone missing since leaving Evolve, so hopefully, he finds a new home in Germany.

This served as a solid showcase for him even if he did take the fall. Brookes gave Yehi a lot, standing up and eating those stiff chops and knees. Chris, meanwhile, is always fun to watch as he uses those long limbs to set-up some interesting grappling situations. Lykos’s injury problems are a damn shame. However, the one upside of it all is Brookes’s improvement as a single wrestler. He’s come a long way in the last twelve months.

Brookes being a lanky streak of pish (said with love) would prove decisive as they engaged in a war of roll-ups and Brookes was eventually able to shift the momentum and lean all the way back, pinning Yehi’s shoulders to the floor for three. It was a momentum-building victory for Brookes while at the same time not being decisive enough to damage Yehi. Sadly, there wasn’t enough time for this to be anything more than decent. However, everyone came out looking good and having achieved what they wanted to. Well done lads.

Verdict: Three Stars

Bobby Gunns defeated Marius Al-Ani by count out, so Al-Ani retains the Shotgun Title

Marius Al-Ani won the Shotgun Title at Shortcut To The Top (despite Bobby’s foot being on the rope) and then turned heel later in the night. Bobby, meanwhile, won the Shortcut To The Top (granting him a World Title shot), but would still quite like his Shotgun Title back.

The advantage of all that is that wXw is now able to lean into Bobby Gunns’ growing popularity and, at the same time, position Al-Ani in a role that feels like a natural fit. The guy has a slight arrogance to him which made him hard to root for and is now making him easy to boo.

Not that Bobby has lost his edge as this was still built around him attacking the arm and fingers of Al-Ani. Wrenching away on them and trying to break as many little bones as he can get his mitts on. Al-Ani, meanwhile, was trying to break free and use that pace to take control. To be honest, Gunns still works like a heel and Al-Ani like a babyface, and yet it worked. They’re good enough to get past that.

I complained that the last match between these two was starting to get going when it ended. At the time, I said that I thought that in a longer bout Gunns and Al-Ani could do something special. Well, we got that here. The closing stretch was fantastic as these two went back and forth, trading blows and battling for momentum.

Eventually, the fight would get out of hand, as they ended up in the crowd beating the hell out of each other. Gunns would make it back to the ring first and stood, waiting for Al-Ani to resume the fight. So fired-up was Bobby that Marius decided he’d had enough, took his belt and went home. While it was a flat finish, it raises the heat on Al-Ani and keeps Gunns strong going into his future title shot (plus, he continues his unbeaten streak in Hamburg).

Before that, this was a fantastic match. Even with the finish undercutting it (otherwise, it might have been a classic), I had a lovely old-time. Now we just need these two to be given the time and the clean finish. Come on wXw, I believe in you.

Verdict: Three and Three Quarters

Doug Williams defeated Veit Müller

If you’re looking for fast-paced action, then you’ll probably want to skip this one. There were times when Müller and Williams tried to pick up the pace and, honestly, it looked like they were going in slow motion.

When they left that behind, though, there was a lot to enjoy here. Williams is a pro who was never going to deliver anything other than solid fundamentals and great psychology. He played the wily veteran, always one step ahead of Müller and using his experience to make sure that the younger man could never get a foot in the action. Throw in some stiff strikes plus lots of suplexes, and you’re onto a winner.

Look, Williams can’t go out there and put on thirty-minute epics. He’s been quite open about the fact that he’s coming to the end of his career. However, Doug can pass some of that wisdom onto the next generation. I’m sure Müller learned a lot from this little program, and hopefully, he can use that to get to the next level.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Killer Kelly defeated Kris Wolf and Melanie Gray to become the Number One Contender for the wXw Women’s Title

Toni Storm picked up an injury which has forced her to vacate the wXw Women’s Title. That means we’re heading for a new champion with the winner of this match set to take on Alpha Female for the belt. Better them than me.

A wee sidenote to say that I love Kris Wolf. She’s ridiculously enthusiastic and a pleasure to watch. I’m sure she’s pissing off someone, but the kind of people she’s pissing off deserve to be angry.

Melanie Gray was playing the big bad here, leaving the ring at the start before waiting for her chance to come in and take control. She even went as far as ripping off Wolf’s tale, which is neither big nor smart. Don’t abuse animals.

Unfortunately, before we could get any further Kelly came in, suplexed fuck out of everybody and got the win. Now, I love Kelly suplexing everyone as much as the next person, that wasn’t a problem. The problem was that this was after six minutes. That’s not enough. wXw is consistently guilty of giving their women significantly less time than the men. You’ve got three talented women in the ring, let them show it.

After the bell, Alpha Female made her way down so that she and Kelly could girn at each other for a bit. That is going to be a good one.

Verdict: Three Stars

RINGKAMPF (WALTER and Timothy Thatcher) defeated Ilja Dragunov and David Starr

Ilja Dragunov is looking ripped right now. Someone is working hard in the gym.

The early part of this match was dominated by Starr’s desperate attempts to beat WALTER. He tagged himself in and ended up paying for it as RINGKAMPF thanked their lucky stars that they didn’t have to deal with Ilja being a lunatic and started taking him apart. That introduced me to my new favourite thing, watching Tim Thatcher watch WALTER beating up David Starr. He was loving it.

As the match went on, Starr and Dragunov seemed to grow as a team. After being dominated by RINGKAMPF in the early stages, they began to come into the match, isolating beautiful Tim and working him over. They showed some chemistry as they did so, even having a few fancy tag moves in their repertoire.

Unfortunately for them, Thatcher is a bit like the Avengers. When shit hits the fan, he has a Hulk to call on for back-up. If WALTER comes charging in, it doesn’t really matter who you are, you’re about to experience pain. When the big man entered the match, everything broke down, and we went into an insane final sequence. It was big move after big move with everyone taking one hell of a beating. At one point, Dragunov leapt from the top rope, over WALTER and onto Thatcher to break up a pin.

The finish would see Dragunov wipe out The Ring General with an insane dive. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Starr set-up for Han Stansen only to be dropped into an Armbar. Thatcher would then roll it over, trapping Starr’s shoulders and getting the three. We then got the delightful image of WALTER playing air guitar on his PROGRESS World Title, only to switch it up to air violin when Thatcher scoffed at him.

That was merely the cherry on the top of a delicious wrestling cake because this was an outstanding match. I’ve been a bit down on Starr recently, mainly because he’s showing himself to be a bit of a twat, but he always brings it against WALTER. The other three are three of my favourite wrestlers on the planet, so, I’m never going to complain about watching them. Don’t miss this one.

Verdict: Four And A Half Stars

Absolute Andy defeated Zack Sabre Jr to retain the wXw Unified World Championship

Your da is at it again as he kicked things off by planting his boot into Zack’s face during his intro. The bastard is always cheating, and your ma will be fuming.

Andy’s antics quickly set-up the theme for the match and it was a classic Sabre story. Zack was blatantly the better wrestler and when these two were in the ring, wrestling, he was dominant. Andy showed off a bit of technical skill, but it was all short-lived, and while he celebrated his accomplishment, Zack got ready to tie him again.

When Andy was able to get into things was when he turned it into a fight. He’s a sneaky bastard who wanted to take Sabre to the outside and brawl with him. While Zack can throw a strike or two, Andy’s bulk gave him the advantage in a striking contest.

Everyone’s least favourite parental figure has been practising, though. As the action went on, Andy began to unveil some tricks including hitting Zack with a Super Hurricanrana. ZSJ was causing damage and chipping away, yet the high impact offence was coming from the wXw Champ. There were hints that if Andy wanted to be a by the book face of the company, he could do it.

The thing is, Andy doesn’t want to do it. He wants to hold onto that belt and make sure that no-one takes it from him. Zack is built for long bouts, your da isn’t, so the cheating bastard began to look for a chance to pull out his usual antics. First, it was a microphone that he threatened to drive into ZSJ’s head, then it was the title. Both times, the ref stopped him.  Zack even blocked a low blow with the trick he learnt wrestling Toru Yano. It was starting to look like Andy might be running out of luck.

So, Andy decided that rather than hitting Zack with something, he’d just hit the ref. As Sabre began to lock in the Jim Break Special, Andy reached out and pawed at the ref. ZSJ was forced to break the hold and when a new official made his way down Andy hit a desperation F5 for the win. Damn you da.

This was my favourite Andy match yet. Zack Sabre Jr was a perfect opponent for him, and both men played their roles to perfection. I’ve talked about Andy being a great storyteller while not being a spectacular wrestler. However, this is proof that he can put on fantastic matches. Fingers crossed we see more in the future!

Verdict: Four Stars

As Andy celebrated Dragunov made his way to the ring. Absolute wanted nothing to do with him and got out of their quickly, clinging to his title as he went. I’ve no idea what Ilja went on to say, but it sure sounded intense. I can only assume he wants a shot at getting his championship back.

Overall Show

The bulk of this show was good without being incredible. Things either didn’t have enough time or had match quality sacrificed for the sake of telling a story. Thankfully, the final two matches made up for that. They were both stupendous displays of wrestling, with one being four men going all out and the other being a mix of good action and great storytelling. It’s what wXw does best.

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