wrestling / TV Reports

Hamilton’s wXw Shortcut to the Top 2023 08.12.2023 Review

August 12, 2023 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
wXw Shortcut to the Top 2023 - Only Friends vs. The Velocities Image Credit: wXw
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Hamilton’s wXw Shortcut to the Top 2023 08.12.2023 Review  

Quick Results
Laurance Roman pinned The Rotation to retain the wXw Shotgun Championship in 6:43 (**¾)
Michael Oku submitted Icarus in 14:45 (***¼)
Delmi Exo pinned Calypso to retain the wXw Women’s World Championship in 6:37 (**¼)
Michael Knight & Bobby Gunns pinned Jude London & Paris de Silva to retain the wXw World Tag Team Championship in 11:44 (***½)
Peter Tihanyi pinned Axel Tischer in 13:31 (***½)
Robert Dreissker pinned Anil Marik to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in 6:24 (**¾)
Maggot won the Shortcut to the Top match in 56:52 (***)

— If you’re on Twitter/X/the bird app, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling. I’m also over on BlueSky, Instagram and Threads by that same name, and if you’ve put your chips in on Mastodon, catch me here. One of those has to be the winner, right? And I’ll be hopping around those until they fall off… In the meantime, 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

We’re coming live on pay-per-view from the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen – I’ll add links to the wXwNOW uploads of the show once it’s dropped there. In the meantime, this is available in German via iPPV on german-mma.de…

Christian Bischof and Mett DiMassi are on the German-language call…

wXw Shotgun Championship: The Rotation vs. Laurance Roman (c)
This was on the pre-show, with Rotation having issued a challenge after the Frankfurt show last month…

Roman looked to control proceedings early on, but his wristlock’s flipped out of as Rotation used the ropes to get free. A snapmare takedown has Roman in the ropes, but he’s quickly back with a shoulder tackle, only for Rotation’s headscissors and lucha armdrag to take Roman down.

Rotation adds a dropkick for a two-count, but Roman’s quickly back in control as he looked to hit a swinging DDT… but Rotation countered with a roll-up for a two-count. Roman’s elbow has Rotation on the deck… but another turnaround allowed Rotation to hit a moonsault press off the top.

A dropkick and a satellite DDT nearly wins it for Rotation, as Roman has to grab some hair to get himself another opening… Rotation pulled ahead again with a suplex for a near-fall, before the Victory Over Gravity landed in Roman’s knees… allowing him to come back with a swinging DDT for a near-fall?! Roman pulled Rotation up from there and put him down with a facebuster to get the win. **¾

Cue the show opening package, and we’re live in Oberhausen with Thommy Giesen back as ring announcer…

Michael Oku vs. Icarus
Oku’s looking to build on his maiden wXw win over Aigle Blanc last time out…

Icarus throws Oku down from the opening lock-up, before he got chopped into the ropes. Returning, a tijeras and a dropkick has Icarus on the back foot, but it’s way too early for a half crab as Icarus pulled himself to the outside to escape the hold… and wander into the path of a teased Fosbury flop, which instead ended as a PK.

A second PK connects, as Oku added some chops on the floor before they exchanged elbows on the apron… only for Oku to get shoved into the ring post, then sent back to the floor courtesy of a piledriver on the edge of the ring. Back inside, Icarus keeps Oku grounded with a release Fisherman suplex, before almost an Anaconda Vise targeted Oku’s neck some more.

Icarus uses the tag rope for some choking, but a spinning enziguiri got Oku back in it… only for him to go back to the half crab. A kick to the neck stops that, as an overhead belly-to-belly flung Oku across the ring ahead of an Irish whip into the corner. Oku finally found a way back in with a missile dropkick, then a DDT as he spiked Icarus for a near-fall.

Oku tries for a half crab, but has to make do with a PK and a springboard moonsault for a two-count after he was pushed away again… the half crab finally follows, but Icarus gets to the rope. A dropkick knocks him outside as Oku followed up with the Fosbury flop, then a froggy crossbody back inside for a near-fall.

Another half crab follows, but Icarus grabs the hair and shoved Oku into the corner… a back suplex dumps Oku on the neck, while a clothesline spun Oku inside out for a near-fall, before the Heart of Europe crossface forced Oku to cling on as Icarus rolled them away from the ropes. Oku eventually fights back up, but a cross-chop to the throat, then a knee to the back of the head has him right back down amid some back-and-forth.

Icarus heads up top, looking for the Meltdown… but two fellas appear on the stage in the old Arrows of Hungary entrance gear and distract him. It allows Oku to get the knees up to block the Meltdown, before the half crab was applied for the submission. A good opener, which puts steam behind Oku and probably tells us what Icarus is going to be dealing with for the next while… ***¼

We’ve got a pre-tape of Ava Everett – she’s unhappy that Calypso’s gotten a shot at the wXw Women’s title before she got her rematch. Ava says she’ll be back to get her rematch, and win the title for a third time…

wXw Women’s World Championship: Calypso vs. Delmi Exo (c)
This was the wXw debut of Delmi, who beat Ava Everett for the title last month at MLW’s Never Say Die. Also, the title’s now a world title, after Ava’s defences in the States…

Exo looked to take the initiative early on, but Calypso was able to take her into the ropes, scoring with an armdrag and an uppercut in the opening stages. Another armdrag took Exo off the top rope ahead of a Slingblade for a near-fall, before the pair began trading chops.

A low dropkick takes Calypso outside as Exo followed with a dive, before a package piledriver back inside was countered with a jack-knife cover. Calypso get a near-fall from that, then stayed ahead with some rolling suplexes… before Exo countered back with a Ki Krusher for a near-fall.

Calypso’s knocked back down with a knee strike, then with a spinebuster before a back body drop from Calypso threw Delmi away. A rebound German suplex is next, taking the champion outside as Calypso threatened to dive… but Delmi just walks away from danger… only for Calypso to add an apron cannonball as she followed her outside.

Back inside, a Fisherman suplex gets Calypso a near-fall, before she missed a twisting splash off the top as Exo came back with the Delmi Driver – a package piledriver – for the win. **¼

We’re backstage with Dan Mallmann as we’re getting wrestlers drawing their numbers for the Shortcut to the Top match. Nick Schreier gets his number, which I think was 9… he bumps into Michael Smolik and wanders off. Smolik got his number, then scared Norman Harras, who then got his number. Tristan Archer, back from Japan, is next, poking fun at Maggot “being the number one of something” before he got his number… which also looked to be unfavourable.

wXw World Tag Team Championship: The Velocities (Jude London & Paris De Silva) vs. Only Friends (Bobby Gunns & Michael Knight) (c)
It’s a wXw debut for the Velocities, who replaced Zak Knight and Ricky Knight Jr. as challengers…

De Silva and Knight start us off, as Paris questioned the legality of Michael having a zebra stuffed into his boot. Michael decides to wear the sock puppet, as I get Santino Marella flashbacks… the zebra makes Paris bridge backwards, before de Silva fought back with a ‘rana and a dropkick.

Knight – and his zebra – find a way back with an abdominal stretch… while the zebra fancied a taste of Paris’ nipple. A tag brings in Gunns, but de Silva gets free as Jude London came in to help with a double-team as a low dropkick and a standing moonsault drew a one-count. Knight’s blind tag brings him back in as London got double-teamed with a wheelbarrow Codebreaker for a two-count, ahead of a double-team Go 2 Sleep attempt that was blocked.

The Velocities find a way back in as they double-team Knight, exchanging quick tags and double sledges off the middle rope as they wore down Knight. London switched up with a stomp, but accidentally got his own man as the champions switched it around… leading to a pop-up kick and a kick-assisted tombstone on London for a near-fall.

Gunns adds a PK for a near-fall, then brought Knight back in as he rolled London into a Trailer Hitch… Gunns comes in to add a camel clutch, before a Kitchen sink knee wrecked London on the way to another near-fall. Out of nowhere, Jude came back with a NICE springboard stunner to Knight, before leaping to make the tag to de Silva, who cleared house ahead of a tope into the front row.

Back inside, de Silva hits the ropes for a high-speed satellite DDT, but it’s not enough for the win as Gunns gets sent into the corner for a gamengiri… then was taken down with a flying leg lariat for a near-fall. A quick turnaround led to a snap German suplex from Gunns to London, as Knight came back in to kick off a second German suplex… which drew a near-fall as de Silva accidentally frog splashed onto his own man to break up the pin.

The double-team Go 2 Sleep takes care of Paris, as we swing and miss a lot… London misses a moonsault as a Doomsday Device from Knight ends things. The Velocities looked impressive in their debut, but it was another successful defence for the Only Friends here. ***½

We’ve a recap from several months ago, of his Axel Tischer built up his 2-0 lead in the Best of Five series against Peter Tihanyi… that leads to a backstage promo with Tischer, who vowed to finish the series in three, and break the hearts of Peter’s fans in Oberhausen.

Peter Tihanyi vs. Axel Tischer
After Tischer was on the shelf for a few months with a broken collarbone, we resume the best-of-five series with Tihanyi deep in the hole. He can’t afford another loss…

Tihanyi decks Tischer early on with a superkick, but his dive’s cut off with a leaping uppercut on the floor. We’re onto the apron, but Tischer’s clotheslined back in as a slingshot cutter almost won it for Tihanyi in the opening minute.

Tischer rolls outside and flips off Tihanyi as the Hungarian went up top for a 450 splash… Tihanyi just followed him out with a tope con giro as Tischer ended up getting chopped around the front row. An attempt to get back in sees Tischer chop the ring post, as Tihanyi retained the upper hand back inside, with a running Meteora almost getting the win.

Mounted punches in the corner end with Tischer hanging up Tihanyi in the ropes, following up with a big boot for a two-count. Tischer stays on Tihanyi from there, rolling him down into a chinlock as Tischer proceeded to hook away at the Hungarian. Tischer baits in Tihanyi for a grounded Dragon screw from there, before a stomp to the elbow kept Tihanyi on the deck.

A trip up top from Tischer’s cut off as Tihanyi brings him down with a superplex, following up with an enziguiri as Tischer looked to be swinging at thin air. A tornado DDT’s countered with a cradle from Tischer, but Tihanyi kicks out before his Asai DDT ended up getting a near-fall, with Tischer BARELY getting his leg on the rope in time.

More back-and-forth ends with Tischer going for an O’Connor roll… but he switches through into a Chaos Theory-like German suplex for a near-fall. Tischer adds a front facelock suplex before a trip up top led to him leaping into a bicycle knee… he rebounds from that with a rebound lariat for a near-fall, before a Ligerbomb got countered into a DDT as Tihanyi almost pulled a win back.

A second springboard, this time from Tihanyi’s countered as Tischer added a Horrible Slam… but he doesn’t go for a cover, and instead pulled up Tihanyi, who flashed back with a roll-up out of nowhere to get a win back. Tischer’s own arrogance was his downfall here, as the door was thrown wide open for Tihanyi in this series. ***½

Interval time – the iPPV viewers were treated to the party catch trios match from Carat… then the Icarus vs. Patrick Bork match from Ambition over that weekend.

Back from interval, we get the video package for our world title match… hey, there’s me in the corner, losing my religion…

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Anil Maril vs. Robert Dreissker (c)
This feels like a huge challenge for Anil Marik, who’s getting his first shot at a singles title here…

Marik attacked Dreissker before the bell, which drew some gasps from the crowd… even more so when he avoided a springboard crossbody and took Dreissker into the opposite corner with forearms. A back body drop and a Slingblade keeps Marik ahead before a bulldog out of the corner drew a near-fall as Dreissker opted to roll outside after a frantic opening minute.

Dreissker catches Marik in the crowd… but hits the ring post after a missed charge as Marik looked to take every advantage he could here. Dreissker’s come up bleeding from above his right eyebrow as Marik cleared away the crowd… only to get propelled into the fourth row as Dreissker pushed away a bulldog attempt.

Marik tries to pick himself up, but Dreissker heads back out after him… then slammed him back into the front row. Returning to the ring, Marik manages to hit a Codebreaker, only to get wiped out by a lariat moments later. Repeated lariats follow as Marik looked out of it, before a Dreissker bomb put Marik away. Marik’s only hope came from the hot start, it seemed, but as soon as he got chucked into the crowd, his days were numbered… **¾

Shortcut To The Top Match
I’ll be focusing on entries, exits and big moments in this one…

Of course, Maggot was number one… with Tristan Archer in at number two. That explains earlier! An early Thesz press from Maggot lands, but Archer looks to get the first elimination as the ticker hit… with Icarus coming out at number three. Hopefully the fellas in his old entrance gear aren’t around. Icarus and Archer double-team Maggot as they attempted to lift him over the top, but Maggot escapes and hits a double DDT as Peter Tihanyi joined at 4.

Tihanyi went straight after Icarus, then hit a double Asai DDT to Icarus and Archer as the live feed skipped around. Number five is Julian Nero! THE MEME CAME TRUE! Mounted punches – just the five of them – awaited Icarus and Archer, as we tick down for Norman Harras. There’s a guy in wXw who is in dire need of a life consultant! Nero looks to throw out Harras, but it’s stopped as we tick down for Fast Time Moodo in 7.

Kicks from Moodo clear house, as Nero looked to throw out Harras… Massimo Pesca is next in, landing a ‘rana to Icarus, before Julian Nero got chucked out by Harras. BOO THAT MAN. Jacob Crane joins the fray, instantly dropping Pesca with a back suplex, before Moodo decided to give the crowd what they want: a bodyslam on Crane. Tihanyi joins in, then Maggot, as we counted to the arrival of Laurance Roman.

Roman wipes out Pesca with a facebuster, while a knee from Icarus left the Italian prone… and easy to throw out over the top rope. Next in is Rott & Flott, as Michael Schenkenberg got the spot by way of hitting the ring first. Schenkenberg tries to hit the Snapchat DDT, but Nikita Charisma’s not allowed in… and Schenkenberg’s eliminated before they could do anything.

Zafar Ameen is next, who saved Norman Harras from elimination… only for Norman to chuck him out seconds later. Ungrateful sod. In at 13 is Michael Smolik, who instantly speared Roman, then dumped Icarus with a spinebuster… before Norman Harras got in his face. A slap from Harras led to a rear naked choke that Smolik laughed off, before he clotheslined Norman over the top to the floor.

Fast Time Moodo squared up to Smolik as they threw kicks, but Moodo’s lifted over the top and kicked to the floor by Smolik before Archer tried to get the cheap elimination. Smolik’s smart to it, but goes for a springboard back in, getting most of it as he was left standing alone… right as Robert Dreissker came out to distract… allowing Icarus and Roman to chuck out Smolik.

Smolik and Dreissker fight on the floor as the ticker brings in Elijah Blum… he hits the Parting Gift on Jacob Crane early, before Icarus and Tihanyi fought on the apron… a knee from Tihanyi knocks Icarus to the floor for an elimination, only for Icarus to pull down Tihanyi mid springboard for the next exit.

Danny Fray is out next as we pass the halfway mark… a sidewalk slam/neckbreaker combo from Blum and Fray leads to Archer getting eliminated at roughly the 22:00 mark as the live feed began to struggle. Axel Tischer joins at 16, clearing house since Tihanyi had already been thrown out.

Tischer lifted Maggot over the top rope, but something looked to go wrong as Maggot landed awkwardly on his shoulder while fighting to stay in. Danny Fray’s eliminated by Tischer, as Michael Oku entered. The misdirection knee and dropkicks help Oku clear the ring, as he proceeded to roll Blum and Roman in a stacked-up half crab.

Roman chucks out Crane after that, while Oku’s moonsault and superkick saw the Shotgun champion make a similar exit. Aliss Ink is in at 18, laying out Blum with the Dragon’s Tail kick before Tischer took her down with a clothesline. Another clothesline lays out Ink as she looked to fight back, before Merc entered the match. He takes Oku into the ropes for a dropkick to the back, then threw Oku over the top and onto the apron… but Oku saved himself.

Alex Duke – finally with an entrance video – joins next, but quickly got on the wrong side of Ink, who battered him with scissor kicks before Duke pulled Aliss down by the hair. A crossbody from Ink’s caught as Duke dumps her unceremoniously over the top to the floor, as we buffer for the entry of Sebastian Hackl. When my feed picks up, he’s chucking Alex Duke over the top to the floor, before Merc got eliminated…

Jurn Simmons is next, wiping out Oku with a lofty spinebuster before a press slam bounced Hackl. A standing moonsault followed from Jurn, who dispatched of Elijah Blum before Hektor Invictus made his return. Hektor settles into an exchange of shots with Tischer, with the pair heading into the corner as Tischer got suplexed back into the ring.

More counting brings us to Mike D Vecchio, who laughed off a few Oku superkicks before returning with a clothesline and a Burning Hammer. Oku heads up top after connecting with a gamengiri to Mike D, but his crossbody gets caught as the Belgian hit a running press slam to take Oku out.

Nick Schreier is next, looking impressive at first as the match began to simmer down for a spell… Levaniel enters next, going after Hektor, then Hackl, before he swung Schreier around with a bodyslam. A discus clothesline to Mike D just gets Levaniel decked in return. Jurn’s headscissors out of a Mike D powerbomb eliminate the Belgian as Dennis Dullnig made his return after more than a year out. Hektor Invictus was not thrilled at first, but Dullnig hits the ring in time to save Hektor from elimination.

Of course, Dullnig’s clumsy and ends up accidentally hitting Hektor on the nose, but they hug it out before Tischer shoved Dullnig into Hektor… then clotheslined him out. Dullnig flips and goes after Tischer with chops and forearms… the pair get dragged over the top rope, but Hektor catches Dullnig as Tischer shoved him off the apron… then opted to throw him down after Dennis gave him a peck on the cheek.

Senza Volto is in at number 28, and goes right for Schreier with a handspring cutter… Jurn gets one too, before he took Jurn and Levnaiel onto the apron. A handspring kick dispatches Levaniel, while Jurn almost speared Senza out of his boots. Heisenberg is our last mystery entrant, going straight for Simmons… then Senza, before Tischer saved Hackl from a chokeslam…

Except Heisenberg just dumps Hackl and Tischer with a double chokeslam, before Nick Schreier was press slammed in the middle of the ring… then chucked out. Our final countdown gives us the already-known number 30 – Baby Allison – and remember, Allison and Heisenberg have a history, along with Maggot from back in the day. Allison and Heisenberg did the Macho Man/Elizabeth thing, but Heisenberg ends up going after Allison as Maggot – with his arm in a sling – came out to make the save.

A double spear has Heisenberg rocked, before Allison and Maggot combined to eliminate Heisenberg. Senza Volto knocks Baby Allison off the apron – and since she’d gone over the top, that’s an elimination, as the one-armed Maggot apparently was back in action. Hackl and Tischer do the Royal Rumble 2004 finale, or at least the “drag onto the apron” part, as he and Tischer trade rights, only for Tischer to knock Hackl out of the match.

Simmons picks up Tischer for a piledriver, then got thrown over the top by Senza Volto… whose springboard dropkick took Jurn out of the match. The final 3 are Tischer, Senza and Maggot… Maggot tries to pick up Senza, but gets thrown away. Maggot flips off Tischer and Senza as he prepared to square up…

A kick from Senza took out Maggot, before Senza’s handspring was countered into a German suplex from Tischer. Another kick keeps Maggot down, but he’s back up to get kicked in the head by Senza Volto as things began to get a little rough… Senza flips out of a German suplex, then got lifted onto the top as Maggot’s kick eliminated the Frenchman.

We’re down to Maggot and Tischer as our last two… as a diving knee looked to take care of Maggot. Tischer begins to kick at the bad shoulder, then ripped off the sling as they teased a stoppage finish. Instead, Tischer goes to pick up Maggot for an armbar, before a Horrible Slam was countered into a cutter… before he clotheslined Tischer over the top for the win. Maggot goes the distance, albeit with the big asterisk and the shoulder injury, and I guess – all being well – Maggot is your next big challenger for Robert Dreissker? ***

Post-match, Maggot celebrated winning the match – after the last few months of poor form – then declared he’d take his title shot in front of family and friends. The news of his title shot not being in Oberhausen got some boos, but the crowd quickly figured that he’d be cashing in at Broken Rules in Frankfurt in November… which means that “big title match” over tag festival weekend remains unfilled.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Shortcut to the Top was a solid outing for wXw with several surprises in the eponymous match - I’m never not going to cheer for the likes of Rott und Flott and a returning Dennis Dullnig. However, aside from Icarus and the ghosts of his past, not much new stuff was set up as we now head to next month’s World Tag Team Festival.