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Hamilton’s wXw Back to the Roots 2023 01.28.2023 Review

February 2, 2023 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
wXw Back to the Roots 2023 - die Käfigschlacht Image Credit: wXw
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Hamilton’s wXw Back to the Roots 2023 01.28.2023 Review  

Quick Results
Tristan Archer pinned Fast Time Moodo in 9:06 (***¼)
Laurance Roman pinned Maggot in 8:37 to win the wXw Shotgun Championship (***½)
Ava Everett pinned Maria de la Rosa in 7:55 (**¾)
Metehan & Rambo pinned Brendan White & Danny Jones in 11:48 (***½)
Bobby Gunns pinned Yota Tsuji in 15:18 (****)
Aliss Ink pinned Amale in 7:40 to retain the wXw Women’s Championship (**½)
Levaniel pinned Axel Tischer in 20:48 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***¾)
Käfigschlacht: Peter Tihanyi, Senza Volto & Aigle Blanc submitted Dover, Icarus & Robert Dreissker in 17:43 (***½)

— If you’re on Twitter, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling. I’m also over on Mastodon, for those of you preparing for a post-Twitter world… catch me here… and check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family.

— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.de and sign up for their new VOD platform over on YouTube…

For the first time this year, wXw’s back in the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen – having already run in Hamburg and Denmark. After last year had the retro shrink-wrapped video game motif, this year’s theme stays in the second hand market, with inspiration coming from a pre-loved AC/DC album. It makes these shows stand out from the pack, that’s for sure…

Tristan Archer vs. Fast Time Moodo
However, the pre-show match, which starts five-minutes into the YouTube video above, comes with German commentary from Mett Dimassi and Christian Bischof. After failing to recapture the Unified World Wrestling title in Hamburg last time out, Tristan Archer finds himself in the warm-up match…

Archer mocks Moodo early on after throwing a kick, and got some in return before Archer proceeded to take Moodo to the corner for a Snake Eyes. Moodo cuts off the Frenchman with a kick, then a hiptoss, before Archer blocked a kick and met Moodo with a knee to the gut.

Kicks from Moodo led to a leg sweep for a one-count, as Archer hung him up in the ropes to try and force an opening. Archer follows Moodo outside to take some shots, and continued the trend back inside with an elbow to the head and some shots to the midsection. A camel clutch wears Moodo down some more, ahead of a Gedo clutch as the crowd were starting to get behind Moodo.

Moodo fires back with a crossbody out of the corner, before a sunset flip was blocked with a back senton from Archer. It lead to a Coup d’Etat attempt, but Moodo slips out to hit a high kick, then a series of mid kicks, before a spinning heel kick and a sliding punch left Archer rocked in the corner. A double stomp’s next, but it’s not enough to keep Archer down, as he then avoided a Black Belt Kick and began his response.

Archer’s Exploder takes Moodo down for a STF, but Moodo manages to get free as he clotheslines Archer to the outside. A scissors kick catches Archer between the ropes ahead of a draping double-underhook facebuster that nearly led to the massive upset. Moodo’s Black Belt Kick gets cut off with a forearm as Archer pushed on with a back cracker and a Decapite lariat, before the Coup d’Etat put away the former tag team champion. This was a really good, even match – one that Archer looked to be in some trouble, before he ended up breezing past Moodo. ***¼

Onto the main show, and the addition of YouTube chapters is an absolute godsend for those of us who watch these shows in chunks. Mett Dimassi’s doing the English commentary alongside Marc Shuttle this time around…

wXw Shotgun Championship: Laurance Roman vs. Maggot (c)
A reward for his recent performances, if not results, Roman’s getting only his fourth-ever crack at the Shotgun title…

Maggot’s the undoubted crowd favourite here, and started by trading wristlocks with Roman before he got taken into the corner. Roman used the ropes for an old-school eye rake, but couldn’t avoid a Thesz press in return, nor the strutting kick or some mounted punches (and nibbling) in the corner.

A vertical suplex from Maggot earns a two-count, as things head outside… but Roman’s back elbow puts him back in control when they made it back to the ring. Roman keeps it going with a suplex into the corner, then with a chinlock as he looked to wear down the champion.

Roman adds a second suplex as he kept chipping away, before Maggot found an opening and eventually took Roman into the corner. We’ve a back body drop out of the corner, then a crossbody off the top from Maggot before a spear almost put Roman away. Maggot looks for a crucifix bomb, but Roman threw him aside before an exchange of strikes ended with a discus clothesline. Roman adds a Fisherman’s buster, cradling after the landing for a near-fall, before Maggot’s diving kick looked to stop Roman in his tracks.

Then it all went downhill as Ahura came through the crowd and punted Baby Allison at ringside. Maggot looks to give chase, but got caught by Roman, who pulled him into a facebuster… and we have a new champion! The title change keeps the Ahura/Maggot feud going without tying up a title around it – and provides Roman with his first title run in wXw. Grab that ball and run with it, Laurance! ***½

Maria de la Rosa vs. Ava Everett
It’s not-her-usual-gear for Ava, whose arrival to Germany was marred by her luggage, erm… not arriving. I mean, I’m making an assumption based on her Tweets, given her gear last time she was over wasn’t a million miles away from this sort of stuff!

Ava wanted Maria’s big fan – but the Spaniard took it back, since Ava’s not used to having fans. Badum, and indeed, tish. They fight over the fan, posing to the crowd with it for the first minute, before Ava yanked down de la Rosa by the hair. Maria returns the favour, as she added clotheslines to the mix, then a backslide to flip Everett into a DDT.

Maria goes for a dive, but Ava swatted her away. Back inside, kicks and stomps from Ava ended up getting undone by a resurgent de la Rosa… at least until Ava threw Maria into her knee for a two-count. Ava stays on de la Rosa with clubbing forearms, only to get caught out with a spinning sidewalk slam.

Everett kicks out at one from that, but rolled away from a stomp as Maria added a side suplex. Maria goes for a wild dive, catching Ava on the outside before shaking it off and heading back inside… where a follow-up Fisherman suplex almost won it. A struggle for a waistlock ends with Ava losing her vest… before she superkicked Maria and took home the win with the Golden Gate Swing (swinging Fisherman’s neckbreaker). **¾

Backstage, Dan Mallmann’s with Aliss Ink ahead of her title defence against Amale later tonight. Aliss is back after some time out with injury, and already has a list of contenders… starting with a former champion who still wants her old belt back.

Metehan & Rambo vs. Greedy Souls (Brendan White & Danny Jones)
It’s a wXw debut for the Greedy Souls, and yes, it is weird seeing the crowd not boo them… and it’s just as weird hearing Rev Pro getting acknowledged (at least in the German feed!)

Metehan and Danny Jones start from where they left off back on NXT UK that one time, scrambling on the mat before they broke in the ropes. A forearm from Jones sent Metehan flying, as did a Kitchen Sink knee, before White tagged in to hit a neckbreaker for a one-count. Jones is back as White’s powerslam had Metehan on the back foot… but the Rev Pro tag champions don’t stay on Metehan, who’s able to tag in Rambo.

A charging Rambo runs into a double hiptoss as the double-team stuff continued, with an assisted and a regular back senton, before Rambo elbowed away a waistlock from Jones. Metehan’s back to continue the turnaround, but Jones’ attempt to sneak in an O’Connor roll was for nought as Rambo had blind-tagged himself back in.

Rambo snuck in a shot from the floor as the Greedy Souls remained on the defensive. A front facelock suplex chucks Jones across the ring for a two-count, while Metehan wore down Jones in the corner with body shots. Stomps to the heel of Jones made sure he stayed down, before Jones managed to escape a sliding forearm and connect with a knee strike.

Rambo comes in to try and stop the hot tag, but got thrown outside… right where he could pull Brendan off the apron. Jones is kept in the wrong corner as Rambo charged in with a hip attack for a two-count, before Rambo distracted the ref to hide Metehan’s cheating from the floor. Metehan lands a neckbreaker to Jones, but failed to knock Brendan off the apron… and one back body drop later, we’ve got tags in to Rambo and Brendan!

The two big lads clatter into each other with shoulder tackles, with White eventually winning out, before he went wild with bodyslams, eventually dumping Metehan onto Rambo. Jones tags back in for a pop-up slam on Rambo, which nearly won it, before Metehan pulled Brendan outside and posted him.

Jones joins them on the outside, but a baseball slide misses as Rambo posted Danny as well, before a frog splash earned Rambo a near-fall. Metehan’s in to hit a sliding forearm that Jones kicks out of, before an assisted powerbomb forced White in to break up the cover in the nick of time.

White tags back in to trade elbows with Rambo, before a distraction from Metehan allowed Rambo to pull ahead… a blind tag has Metehan back in, as Rambo’s clotheslined to the outside. Metehan hangs up White in the ropes, only to eat a clothesline. That prompts Metehan to take off the belt on his gear, but the referee stops him from using it… only to miss an eye rake as the Nazar got the win. Regardless of the result, this was a cracking debut in Germany for the Greedy Souls – going from a so-so response to the crowd backing them in the opening minute. World Tag Team Festival’s coming up in September, and based on this, they’ve got to be in the conversation about being a part of it… ***½

Bobby Gunns is with Dan Mallmann backstage, as he’s asked about the events of Hamburg that cost him a shot in Carat… and the “not so pleasant” meeting with Norman Harras afterwards. Gunns called Harras a “disaster” as sporting director, and told him to “do something else, start wrestling again” instead. Uh-oh.

Bobby Gunns vs. Yota Tsuji
The portion of the show we may or may not have booked (we didn’t) rolls on, with the German debut of Yota Tsuji…

Tsuji breaks the opening stand-off with a chop to Gunns, who replied with a shoulder tackle as neither man budged… until Gunns kicked out Tsuji’s legs. They trade kicks until we hit another stand-off, broken by an exchange of elbows, with Gunns switching up for a mid kick to leave Tsuji on the deck.

Gunns’ snapmare and kick to the back of Tsuji just drew a derisive laugh and a retort from Tsuji, as the pair went tit-for-tat with mares and kicks. Tsuji chucks Gunns to the outside, as chops and kicks left the former champion in the front row ahead of a trip to the ring post. Back inside, a bodyslam barely gets Tsuji a one-count, as he proceeded to ground Gunns with a chinlock… then toyed with kicks.

A charging front kick out of the corner helps Gunns get back into it, as did a few more, while a leaping enziguiri left Yota down. Running uppercuts into the corner follow, as did a shotgun dropkick from Gunns, who peppered Tsuji with more kicks… only for one to get caught and elbowed away.

Tsuji surprises Gunns with a tijeras, taking him outside for a tope… which saw Tsuji get a little too close to those front row seats. Back inside, a suplex gets Tsuji a two-count, as we’re back to the pair trading elbows. A clonker from Tsuji has Gunns in a heap, before the pair trade kicks, leading to Gunns running into front kicks… which he shrugged off as he decked Tsuji with a lariat.

Gunns gets caught with a Falcon arrow for a near-fall, then a bodyslam as he nearly got the upset. Gunns blocks an attempted Vertebreaker, but couldn’t avoid a wicked lariat that nearly won the match for Tsuji, before Gunns began to find his way back in. A shotgun dropkick and a German suplex just riled up Tsuji, but his latest lariat just gets a one-count as we’re back to the trading of forearms… when out of nowhere, a headbutt from Gunns bought him enough time to land a PK, and that’s enough for the win. Bloody hell lads, run this one back down the line, eh? Another thriller of a debut for Tsuji, who had the crowd on his side at points… but it’s Bobby Gunns who leaves with the win. ****

wXw Women’s Championship: Amale vs. Aliss Ink (c)
Amale’s still claiming that she was never beaten for the title – having relinquished it in 2021, before not taking the fall in the triple-threat back at Femmes Fatales last October.

Ink teases some kicks early on, forcing Amale to back off into the ropes ahead before some headscissors just about took Amale into the corner. Things picked up with a floatover into a tornado DDT from Ink, before Amale took her into the ropes. Ink returns fire with some scissor kicks, but Amale clubbed her down to the mat and proceeded to drive the champion’s knee into the mat.

Ink’s hung up in the corner as a running dropkick gets Amale a two-count, while a half crab ended up getting pushed away. Amale stays on Ink with a suplex, but missed a face-washing kick in the corner before some more headscissors took Amale down.

Amale’s met with a spinning heel kick as Ink proceeds to head up top for a missile dropkick, which picks up another two-count. More headscissors from Ink get countered into a powerbomb, as Amale followed up with that face-washing kick for a two-count, then with a full nelson slam after Ink had tried to swing with the Dragon’s Tail kick. The Hopebreaker looks to follow, but Ink slips out to hit the Dragon’s Tail… and that’s enough to get the win. This one started a little rough but picked up as Ink claimed a notable scalp here. **½

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Axel Tischer vs. Levaniel (c)
They made a big deal of how this was the match a year ago, but the proverbial shoe was on the other foot. Or the belt on the other waist.

Tischer wasn’t in any hurry to get going after Levaniel’s usual elaborate entrance, as he was more than happy to frustrate Levaniel’s early efforts. A side headlock restrains Levaniel, before he returned with one of his own… which got shoved off for the obligatory shoulder block before Levaniel went for the Galactic Face Crusher. Even the German commentary’s calling that now, but I kinda preferred how “Sternschnuppe” rolls off the tongue.

Tischer rolls outside to take the sting out of things, as the Oberhausen crowd started to get pretty split in their backing. Back inside, Levaniel’s side headlock is broken as Tischer went to work on that previously-injured neck, then switched it up by going for the arm as things went back-and-forth on the mat. An attempted Gator roll from Tischer sees him go back to that neck, before a series of double underhook suplexes looked to have Levaniel ahead… only for Tischer to charge him into the ropes and pull down a knee pad?

That creates an opening for Tischer to kick Levaniel in the head as he went to pull up that knee pad. A neck crank keeps Levaniel down, as did a half-hatch suplex as Tischer looked to be settling into a groove. Levaniel cradles his way out of a Horrible Slam attempt, but Tischer’s right back on him with a grounded sleeper, and some hooking as there was more than a little rule-bending going on here.

Levaniel looks to fight back, but a double-clothesline took both men down as the pair resumed with strikes, while a spinning heel kick from Levaniel had Tischer on the deck. An overhead belly-to-belly throws Tischer across the ring, while a second one’s blocked as Levaniel instead opted for a regular suplex that picked up a two-count.

A Galactic Facecrusher attempt gets blocked as Tischer ends up countering with a gamengiri as Levaniel went up top. That allowed Tischer to bring him down with a backpack stunner attempt, but Levaniel breaks free and lands a discus clothesline instead for a near-fall. Another crack at the Galactic Facecrusher ends with Tischer going back to the mouth, before Levaniel pushed free. Tischer’s tripped on the top rope as Levaniel instead brought him down with a superplex.

After taking an age to get going again, Levaniel gets caught with a death valley driver as his clemency almost cost him the match… and there’s the Tischer chants again. Levaniel wriggles away from a Liger bomb, then suplexed Tischer into the buckles. A sunset flip powerbomb sees Tischer counter out of another superplex, as a German suplex almost got him the win…

We’re back to the pair trading strikes, but Tischer’s enziguiri and head kick has the champion down ahead of a Ligerbomb that got him closer to the W. Stomps from Tischer led to another rear naked choke, which Levaniel broke free of… only to run into a leg lariat. A Horrible Slam’s pushed away, as Levaniel nails a Galactic Facecrusher for a near-fall…

More uppercuts are met in kind, only for Levaniel to respond to another uppercut with a brainbuster as Tischer yet again went for the Horrible Slam. From there, the Galactic Facecrusher lands again, and that’s enough for Levaniel to get the well-earned win. There’s a noticeable part of the crowd not on his side, but so far the early days of the title reign have been more good than bad – if only for the shops that sell the customised heart-shaped gingerbread biscuits! ***¾

Post-match, Tischer’s offered a handshake… which he pushed away as he instead teased cracking Levaniel with the belt. Cooler heads prevailed though, only for Tischer to attack Levaniel from behind. That got a loud – and mostly positive reaction – as Tischer then went on to say (afterwards) something about seeing us at Carat. Is that going to be the Saturday night main event?

Käfigschlacht: AMBOSS (Dover, Icarus & Robert Dreissker) vs. Frenchadors (Aigle Blanc & Senza Volto) & Peter Tihanyi
The show opening video package called the Käfigschlacht “the most brutal, barbaric and dangerous match in wXw history.” Unfortunately, that’s ended up being foreshadowing…

This is running under sorta-War Games rules – so we started with Dover and Peter Tihanyi, after the coin toss gave AMBOSS the advantage. Laurance Roman’s exuberant reaction to that got him ejected from ringside by Norman Harras, while Elijah Blum also got sent to the back after a second pre-match scuffle.

SO… we finally get going with Dover and Tihanyi trading blows, but it’s Tihanyi’s dropkick that led to the early advantage in the opening period of one-on-one action. Dover’s back up to stop Tihanyi on the top rope, before a springboard Meteora took Dover down. Dover blocks an Asai DDT attempt, then threw Tihanyi into the side of the cage as he looked to build up an advantage for AMBOSS.

Icarus has some… skewers at ringside? He hands them through the cage to Dover, who had designs on making Tihanyi’s head into some kind of kebab, but Tihanyi blocks the attempt, then drove the spikes into Dover’s head, cutting him open. The cage is used to grind the cut to try and get some more of the red stuff out, before he took a step back and waited for the clock to run down as we hit the 5-minute mark… and the arrival of AMBOSS’ second man, Robert Dreissker.

Dreissker’s raring to go, but is caught by Tihanyi as soon as he got in. A ripcord clothesline from Dreissker’s ducked as Tihanyi headed to the corner, where he booted away the oncoming Dreissker, before taking a trip up top for a crossbody… and somewhere between those two, Dreissker got busted open, as there’s visible blood on his chest and shoulder. Dreissker stayed down, as the next time the camera got a clear visual of him after a back body drop on Tihanyi… my god, the blood.

Dreissker’s hands were bloodied, along with his eye and mouth – from what was later diagnosed as a broken jaw, nose and cheekbone. Two minutes pass as Aigle Blanc joins the match, only to get clobbered by the crimson Dreissker, but a back body drop gets flipped out of as Dreissker’s taken into the cage wall. They remove the padlock as Dreissker ends up heading outside as medics took care of him… and in the meantime it left Dover with the disadvantage.

Icarus joins the match at the 9-minute mark, but has the cage door kicked into his face as Tihanyi headed into him with a dive… Laurance Roman’s back to attack Tihanyi from behind, posting him too. Elijah Blum’s out to make the save, but he’s thrown into some guard rails – and amid all that, Roman’s Shotgun title belt didn’t budge once. That thing’s on nice and tight…

Back to the match, Dover’s grounded Aigle Blanc with a chinlock as a bloodied Icarus finally hit the ring… but the two minute period of parity for AMBOSS quickly ended as Senza Volto joined the match. NOW the match starts properly, 11 minutes in, with only submissions being able to end this thing.

Senza’s handspring kick sandwiches Dover by the cave wall, while Icarus took a suplex from the tag champions. A double armbar’s broken up by Icarus as Peter Tihanyi headed up the cage… and flew into the pile beneath with a flip senton. Things break down into something of a Parade of Moves, with the Frenchadors going for the pop-up Dragon suplex as Aigle Blanc was pushed back by Senza Volto ahead of the Dragon suplex to Dover.

Commentary tell us that Robert Dreissker’s not going to be returning to the match, as Dover’s double slam took down the Frenchadors… only for Tihanyi to leap off the top. Dover sidesteps him, only to get caught in a chicken wing. Icarus breaks it up quickly, as the Arrows then proceeded to head to the turnbuckles and unscrew two of the top turnbuckles. Can’t leap off the top rope if it’s not there to jump off of!

The Frenchadors cut off the Arrows, only to get cut off with a Crossfire knee… Aigle Blanc’s given one too, before Tihanyi was taken down with one of the loosened turnbuckles. Tihanyi manages to sneak back in with an Asai DDT to Icarus, then to Dover, before a 450 splash off the middle rope landed… a rear naked choke’s next, and with the Frenchadors restraining Icarus, Dover’s left with no choice but to tap out as AMBOSS came up short in a bloody cage war. Undoubtedly this match had changes made on the fly after Dreissker’s injury – in spite of his attempts to carry on regardless – but it didn’t once feel like it threatened to fall apart, which is a testament to how everyone else kept it together. ***½

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
A really strong showing from wXw, buoyed by impressive debuts from the Greedy Souls and Yota Tsuji - while Axel Tischer’s change of direction looks to have given pretty much all ofl the big names something to do as we head into 16 Carat Gold weekend next month. Well, everyone except Bobby Gunns, who looks to be at a real loose end…

article topics :

Back to the Roots, wXw, Ian Hamilton