Euro Fury: wXw 16th Anniversary Show
wXw 16th Anniversary
December 10 2016
Sixteen years of wXw is being celebrated here. Christian Michael Jakobi is excited to remind us how far the promotion has come and the reach the promotion has achieved. For touring and professionalism they’re at the forefront of European wrestling. They may not have the in-ring consistency of Progress but their ambition is incredible. We’re in Oberhausen, the home of 16 Carat. Host is Rico Bushido.
Alpha Kevin vs. Marius Van Beethoven
This has been a long-running feud, ever since Marius turned on Kevin Roadster. Van Beethoven has been ducking a match claiming an injury but that’s been exposed as fraudulent and he’s been forced into action here. Chicken Marius is dressed like a power ranger so the audience call him on it. Interference is barred from this match, which makes it a normal match as interference is only legal in no disqualification matches…surely. Naturally the in-ring isn’t terribly special as the match is all about Kevin getting revenge. I could have lived without his name change. Marius bails to cut a mid-match promo and the crowd count him out, which is delightful. Marius is sneaky and underhanded. It’s easy to forget he’s a trained wrestler because of his out of the ring shenanigans. Kevin dominates when it’s fair and square and he finishes with the powerslam to claim revenge. I’m sure Marius doesn’t care. He got to screw with Kevin for months! Plus after the match is finished Marius assaults Kevin with a chair. Melanie Grey runs in to save Kevin’s leg for a Pillmanising. Marius punches her in the face and Pillmanises the leg anyway. Three seconds of revenge for Kevin, followed by a lifetime of agonising pain. Not quite the pay off the fans were hoping for.
Final Rating: *1/2
Chris Colen vs. Emil Sitoci
Colen is a big European beefcake. He looks like that guy who bullied you out of the prime spots near the pool on holiday in Spain. The girl you were eyeing up went home with him. He’s a genetic jackhammer. Sitoci is the dodgy European guy you met while out clubbing. He gave you ecstasy but later got arrested outside McDonalds while you were watching a gherkin slide down the window. In the wrestling world Sitoci is the heel but that seems unfair. He is a shithead but Colen feels like a secret shithead. He’ll milk the applause but you can’t trust him. Sitoci wears his heel persona like a badge of honour. You can trust him…to be a dick. The match is fine as both guys are decent wrestlers but nothing to get overly excited about. It screams ‘second on the card’. Sitoci’s innovation meets Colen’s raw power but there are lapses in the storytelling. JR would be all over them for the selling, which is wildly inconsistent. The match also gets crazy spotty down the stretch. Sitoci hits a one man Spanish Fly, which is insane and that’s not the finish! Colen comes firing back with a Rock Bottom, which looks great and the Angel’s Wings finishes. They went a bit overboard on the big spots in an attempt to stand out but it did work at the end.
Final Rating: ***
“Bad Bones” John Klinger vs. Ilja Dragunov
Klinger has been after Cerberus (“a bunch of pill addicts”) for months and it has culminated in this. It’s probably not wise to enter into a relaxed rules contest with a member of Cerberus. Bones respects Ilja out of all the members of Cerberus and wants to turn him back to the light but Dragunov won’t listen so Klinger has to beat some sense into him. The logic is there. These two dance the violent ballet. Bones’ love of strong style extends to furniture. It makes for a very violent match. Dragunov has added some weight during 2016 although he looks like a member of the Russian mob who collects debts rather than a professional wrestler. Bones looks like a professional wrestler. I’m not saying it’s a bad look for Dragunov to look different. It makes him stand out. Klinger murders the poor guy with an assortment of evil, including a crucifix bomb into the apron/bottom rope. The match escalates from chairs to kendo sticks to tables. The pacing is perhaps a little slow, especially compared to the frenetic previous match, but that sells the importance of what’s happening. There are loads of moments where I’m cringing at the viciousness. This peaks with a back superplex onto a stack of chairs from Bones. That must have sucked to take. Ilja goes completely insane, punching a chair away in a sensational spot before going nuts on Klinger. Dragunov has that next level of intensity that he move up to. It’s scary. Unfortunately the match culminates in table spots and the furniture refuses to cooperate. In particular when Dragunov’s comeback results in a Saito suplex into one of them and it doesn’t budge. Dragunov gets opened up as this starts to get epic. Wrecking ball knee sends Dragunov face first into the uncooperative table and it still doesn’t break. Eventually Bones drops Ilya on his head and takes the pin. The tables remain unbroken! Had the table spots come off a perfectly as they were imagined this could have been truly great. Still a terrific match.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Post Match: Dragunov accepts the fist bump from Bad Bones. This pisses off Adam Pollack and Julian Nero comes out here. Followed by the returning Robert Dreissker. He’s back in Cerberus and lays Dragunov out. This pretty much confirms Dragunov as a babyface who’ll be going against Cerberus. It could have been Dragunov & Dreissker vs. Cerberus but that would have left Cerberus too weak. Ilya looked great throughout this whole thing. Nice to see Dreissker back too. He’s missed the whole year with injury.
wXw Shotgun Championship
Chris Brookes (c) vs. David Starr vs. Da Mack vs. Pete Dunne
The Shotgun title has been bounced around a lot recently*. They do good work here although Starr applying a Boston crab on three guys looks suspiciously like the Human Centipede. The Human CentiPete as Dunne is at the front. Dunne and Brookes do the biting and wet willies as a tandem. Heel Brits! Dunne seems fine with Brookes retaining, as if he was content with his short run and doesn’t feel like he needs the strap again. Da Mack is so inconsistent in this match. At times he’s fluid and his timing is great and at others, seemingly during easier spots, he looks clumsy as fuck. The Brits alliance allows both Mack and Starr to work from underneath as babyfaces. It’s quite alarming from Mack’s POV that Starr, in Mack’s own country, does a far better job of playing face. The match is incredibly fast paced and Starr pins Brookes with the Product Placement in just over ten minutes. That’s a little disappointing, to be brutally honest, as I had this pegged as a potential showstealer.
Final Rating: ***1/4
*Da Mack lost the title in late September. Since then there have been a further three title changes. The only man not involved in this match that held the strap was Tyler Bate.
Post Match: David Starr throws his name into the hat for 16 Carat, promising to win the tournament.
Two Out of Three Falls
wXw Tag Team Championship
A4 (c) vs. Ringkampf
Ringkampf have become the biggest shitheels in the company so they’re coming for the tag belts because the wXw title situation is being locked down by another heel in Simmons. There’s more at stake as if A4 lose the straps Karsten Beck loses his authority role in wXw. It seems a bit sudden for that and yet Ringkampf have major momentum. wXw have rather painted themselves into a booking corner. The first fall establishes that WALTER is the dominant force in this match and Al-Ani is potentially a weak spot for the champs, despite his incredible offence. At one point Al-Ani attempts to lift WALTER. It’s a foolish move. WALTER generally shuts down everything the champs attempt. He’s so dominant. Even when Andy comes after him with chops it’s even Steven. There’s an issue with two out of three falls matches and that’s the waiting game. You know the heels will go one fall up. You know it’ll get levelled up. Then the actual match starts. Unless the booking goes wrong and the faces win the first fall. That’s just madness. WALTER dismantles everyone. If Axel was on the other team it’d make no difference. He escapes an armbar at one point and powerbombs Al-Ani onto Andy to break up a Boston crab. It’s scary. The first fall is surprisingly long and it drains the crowd. Both Andy and Dieter are unable to answer a count and it’s a double KO. Falls are levelled at 1-1, in the same gimmick that Progress did for Sabre-Ciampa. Given the issues with the 2/3 falls waiting game it’s probably a smart move.
WALTER continues his dominance by booting Andy in the face to start the final fall. His destruction of one of the largest wrestlers in Germany shows how far WALTER is ahead of everyone in wXw. It gives Andy a mountain to climb, despite their similar sizes. You’d think A4 would seek to single out Axel but instead they’re constantly trying to go toe to toe with WALTER. It’s the same stupidity that saw them struggle against Hero in the tag league (and yet they won that match). Jakobi comes out here, Beck knocks him out and Al-Ani gets the huge shock win by hitting a frogsplash on WALTER. Well done, lads. I got into this as it progressed, even if the story didn’t quite click with me. WALTER taking the fall felt a bit odd as he dominated the entire match.
Final Rating: ***3/4
wXw Unified World Championship
Jurn Simmons (c) vs. Marty Scurll vs. Adam Cole
I was looking forward to Simmons vs. Scurll. I thought wXw did a good job of building that match. Then we gained Adam Cole, BAY BAY. I really don’t think he needs to be in there. Scurll’s struggle to overcome the larger Jurn is the bulk of the story. The only thing Cole contributes is yelling “Adam Cole BAY BAY”, allowing himself to get caught in the Chickenwing. Jurn’s big meaty appendages manage to open up Marty, which serves to fire up the Villain. The cut is right over his eye, which would be awful in boxing. It limits the vision. It looks bad too. Marty does a lot of dim babyface moves, including an enormous amount of showboating. I would rather he retained his heel persona but with more comedy, rather than outright drifting into blue-eye territory because Marty is a shit babyface. When he’s running through his moves he’s the most entertaining man in the match and that includes him pulling the tights because he’s a Villain. This isn’t on a par with Jurn’s great title defence against Speedball but it is energised and everyone gets in some decent stuff. Even though some of the pre-planned stuff defies all logic. Like Scurll virtually placing himself in a crossface when attempting to break up a Cole Figure Four. They get into absolute shenanigans at the end with Scurll and Cole trying to out-cheat each other. Then out-superkick each other. Jurn gets eliminated on the outside and Scurll taps Cole with the Chickenwing.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Post Match: Christian Michael Jakobi orders Scurll to defend his title immediately.
wXw Unified World Championship
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Axel Dieter Jr.
Scurll battles back against the odds but Axel makes him pass out in the Chickenwing and the title changes twice in the same night.
Final Rating: NR