wXw Fans Appreciation Night 2018: Oberhausen Review

Night two of wXw appreciating their fans once again sees Your Da defending his belt in the main event. This time, he’s up against the man he took it from, Ilja Dragunov. Will he hold on to it? Or is Ma going to have to start shopping around again because the bonuses have dried up? I guess we should go find out. (Apologies for how late this review is, I wrote half and then got distracted…)

Kris Wolf defeated Millie McKenzie

I enjoy Kris Wolf being silly and I love Millie Mckenzie being a badass. This had a bit of both of those things, and while there could have been a few more suplexes, it tickled the itch all the same.

Truthfully, it was far from a classic. Wolf and McKenzie were only given six minutes or so, and while Millie getting frustrated with Kris’s antics and trying to murder her is a fun story, it’s perhaps not one that is naturally suited to hard-hitting sprints. Still, there’s nothing wrong with focusing on having fun every now and then, which is exactly what they provided.

Verdict: Three Stars

Jay FK (Jay Skillet and Francis Kaspin) defeated RISE (Pete Bouncer and Ivan Kiev) and Emil Sitoci and Dirty Dragan

Jay FK continued their tale of being annoying little shits. They nailed this from a tactical stance, spending most of the early stages hanging out at ringside before coming in towards the end to take everyone out and pin Dragan. You can’t argue with its effectiveness.

In the ring, this was great when it was Sitoci going up against the RISE men. Bouncer didn’t do too much, but Kiev stood out as he and Emil put together some lovely sequences. Sadly, Dragan was always going to be the thing that held it back. I’ve said it before (and I’m sure I’ll repeat it in the future), he’s not very good. He’s over as hell, so I get why they use him, but when he stepped into that ring, it felt like everyone else was having to work around his weaknesses.

I also got a bit confused as to the legal man situation in this one. That shit usually doesn’t bother me. As long as it’s not too egregious, I’ll let it slide. However, they didn’t seem quite sure what rules they were working under. I’m assuming it was meant to be Lucha, but even that didn’t work with what was going on. It took me out of the action on a couple of occasions which is never a good thing.

That aside, it was a fun match. These kinds of scrambles are always a bit messy, and I was happy to cling on and enjoy the ride.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Doug Williams defeated Fred Yehi

Your enjoyment of this will come down to taste. Most of the action was built around that technical catch wrestling style that Williams has perfected over the years. Small battles being fought for control of a limb and a lot of time spent on the ground working on simple holds. Some will find it boring, others will lap it up.

Things picked up for me when they started slugging it out. Yehi is a fantastic striker, delivering blows that you can believe in. At one point, he zeroed in on Williams’ shoulder. Driving his fist into it repeatedly in an attempt to open it up to future attacks.

Williams is no slouch in that department, either. Age might have slowed him down, but it has hardened him up at the same time. He looks like he’s built out of bricks and he can still pop off a suplex with the best of them.

A skill that came in handy when he got the victory with Chaos Theory leaving him with a record of 2-0 for the weekend and Yehi on 0-2. That’s an interesting decision from wXw. Williams is on his way out, and this may well have been his last wXw tour. Surely, he should be putting people over? Especially as this means that Yehi came in and lost his first two matches. Fingers crossed they have plans for him in the future because he seems like a perfect fit for this company.

In the here and now, this was a decent, if slightly unspectacular, performance.

Verdict: Two and Three Quarter Stars

Tarkan Aslan and Marius Al-Ani defeated Bobby Gunns and Lucky Kid

Bobby is pissed off because Al-Ani took his title while Lucky Kid is heartbroken because his brother, Tarkan Aslan, turned on him.

Unfortunately, their revenge will have to be saved for another day. Bobby didn’t even get tagged into this one as Lucky fired up at the start before being brought to a sudden halt by the knuckle duster clad fist of Aslan. A Frog Splash later, we were done.

Until that moment, we did get to see something a bit different from Lucky Kid. This was a more aggressive version of him, which might actually help him out in the long run. Gunns also seems to be losing it a bit as he got on the mic after the bell and demanded they restart. wXw staff ended up having to come to the ring to calm them down before Kid and Bobby headed backstage to find the cheating bastards.

This was more focused on the story than the match so I won’t be rating it, but they did a fantastic job of weaving these two stories together and keeping everyone involved moving forward.

Verdict: NA

Jurn Simmons and David Starr fought to a draw in a Last Man Standing Match

Starr and Simmons were a tag team until big Jurn turned heel. In fact, they were supposed to have this match a few months. Sadly, Simmons got injured, so we’re getting it now instead.

If I’m truthful, I’m so fed up with this style of wrestling. A walking brawl with occasional weapon use does nothing for me. When you add the Last Man Standing stipulation to proceedings, it was always going to be a tough sell. There is nothing fun about watching people lie on the ground while a ref counts.

And both of those things were bountiful here. There were a lot of weapon shots followed by copious amounts of laying around. At one point, Starr had to stay on the ground for an unnaturally long time while Simmons did some DIY. He was attempting to remove the bottom rope and clearly struggling so you could see Davey Wrestling peaking across to see how he was getting on.

I don’t want to be too harsh on these guys. Starr, in particular, took some sick bumps. At one point, Simmons effortlessly tossed him into the crowd where he bounced off the chairs before being helped to his feet by a fan. Yet, it never grabbed me. You know something isn’t working when a wrestler is ripping up the padding on the ring, and all you can think about is how annoying that must be for the ring crew.

In the end, Simmons would be hoisted by his own home improvements as he ate a Piledriver on the exposed ring before dragging himself to his feet to throw Starr from the top rope onto the same now wooden ring. It left both men unable to answer the count and this feud will continue. Hopefully, the next match will leave me a little less cold.

Verdict: Three Stars because they worked hard

Monster Consulting (Avalanche and Julian Nero) defeated Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis) and RINGKAMPF (WALTER and Timothy Thatcher)

Here’s something to get us back on track. Three fantastic tag teams in the same ring. I do wish wXw would avoid the temptation to have title bouts be multi-man/team matches as often as they do, but if you have to do it, make it this good.

Let’s talk about Kyle Fletcher. He’s nineteen and is already insanely good. There was a really cool moment early in this match when Big Tim came face to face with Kyle. For a few seconds, it looked like Timothy was going to squash the irritant across from him, but Fletcher refused to go down. His comeback was scrappy, yet that was what made it so great. That’s the kind of character moment he’s going to need if he wants to get over outside of the UK. You bought him as someone who doesn’t back down from a fight. Even if he did pay the price for it later as he ate a RINGKAMPF heat section.

Mark Davis wasn’t far behind him in impressing either. Apparently, the beating his chest took the last time he faced WALTER didn’t teach him a lesson, and he faced off with the big man again, eating a few of those horrible chops. He’s also got one of the best hot tag going as it allowed him to dispose of both members of Monster Consulting. Aussie Open keep getting better and considering how good they are already, there’s potential for this team to go on to do something special.

As for Monster Consulting and RINGKAMPF, what more needs to be said? They’re great tag teams who work brilliantly together and with others. With Tag League just around the corner, wXw is going to put on some beautiful matches for those lucky enough to be in attendance.

While this one didn’t perhaps hit that level, it was still damn good. The final five minutes were particularly spectacular as everything broke down and bodies began to fly across the ring. Everyone got a moment to impress until both WALTER and Thatcher were taken out leaving the Aussies to face off against the Monsters. Aussie Open would come within milliseconds of getting the win, but would ultimately fall to the champions. Great stuff.

Verdict: Four Stars

Melanie Gray defeated Alpha Female and Killer Kelly to win the vacant wXw Women’s Title

So, despite Killer Kelly beating Melanie Gray to earn a title shot the night before, Gray somehow still found her way into this match (she provoked Kelly into adding her to it). Give us singles! I wanted to see Alpha Female and Kelly do some murdering.

Thankfully, we still got a bit of that as Gray rolled to the outside early on. Alpha Female is one hell of a presence as she towered over her opponents. Kelly’s attacks proving ineffectual against her pure power. It led to a showdown where both women played their roles to perfection, and I’d love a proper match between the two of them.

Gray, meanwhile, spent most of her time on the outside. She looked like a fan, watching on with interest and only sneaking in when she needed to break up a pin. That was until the two women actually bothering to wrestle decided they’d had enough and dragged her back in. Even then, they failed to deal with her properly, and she would eventually grab her opportunity. Alpha Female hit Kelly with the Dominator only for Gray to sneak in, shove her out of the way and steal the belt.

It’s another match that focused on storytelling over in-ring action. I know that’s what wXw tries to do, and they probably will pay it off someday, but in the here and now it would have been nice to get a proper title match.

Verdict: Three Stars

Absolute Andy defeated Ilja Dragunov by Disqualification to retain the wXw Unified World Title

Andy and Ilja decided not to bother with building momentum as the first move was Andy connecting with an F5 only for Dragunov to kick out at one. It was a moment that the English commentary team undersold horribly.

That set up not so much a period of Ilja domination as a match worth of it. The former champion was determined to get his belt back, and when Andy tried to flee, Dragunov happily gave chase. He was always on the attack. An intense and rabid dog mauling a tough old steak that its owner was kind enough to toss to the floor. He even went as far as hitting an F5 of his own.

That steak hasn’t survived as long as it did by not being able to take a beating, though. Andy has earned Your Da hood by spending a lifetime putting down rabid dogs (I know, I’m mixing my metaphors, leave me to it). He took everything Ilja threw at him and kept kicking out. Doing enough to make sure that Ilja didn’t run away with things.

And as Andy did that, Ilja began to get frustrated. He’d hit a Torpedo Moskau, yet Andy still managed to survive. So, he went to get the belt, looking to drive it into Andy’s skull. When the ref stopped him, taking the belt away and looking to return it, Andy took advantage and brained him with a sickening looking chair shot to the head (thankfully, Ilja did have his hands up).

When Dragunov returned to his feet, blood was pouring down his head. Andy wasn’t going to let an opportunity like that go without taking advantage. Suddenly, he was the one on the front foot. Driving his fist into the open wound and choking Dragunov as he lay on the floor.

Now, it was Dragunov’s turn to show his resilience. To prove that he is Unbesiegbar. Even a Super F5 was not enough to keep him down. Then, Andy grabbed the microphone and started mocking Dragunov, bringing up his son Constantine. Ilja, meanwhile, lay at his feet. Motionless.

Except, maybe Dragunov wasn’t as out of it as Andy thought. When Absolute went for the F5 Ilja Dragunov landed on his feet, and something inside of him snapped. This was no longer a wrestling match, it was a murder and Ilja was happy to take the jail time. He drove a steel chair into Andy’s head, accepting the disqualification in his wish to cause pain.

This is why wXw’s combination of storytelling and match quality is fantastic. Because for every moment where the story takes away from the action in the ring, you get one where two men go out and get their point across while also putting on a fantastic example of wrestling. Absolute Andy is growing into his role as champion while Ilja Dragunov is a fucking superstar. You need to see this match.

Verdict: Four And A Half Stars

After the bell, Ilja continued to mutilate Andy, taking out the wXw staff who tried to stop him. Then, when he’d finally finished, Bobby Gunns made his way out to blow smoke to Dragunov’s face, throw his cigarette into his chest and boot him in the balls. He then did the same to Andy to keep things fair. We’re heading to another three-way. You can probably guess how I feel about that.

Overall Show

An up and down show from wXw that showed both why I love this promotion and why I get frustrated with it. When they nail what they’re trying to do, it’s fantastic. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Still, it’s worth it for the main event and the Tag Title match while the first two bouts were decent too. Your Da’s title reign continues.

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