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Furious’ wXw Shortcut to the Top 2019 Review

August 9, 2019 | Posted by Arnold Furious
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Furious’ wXw Shortcut to the Top 2019 Review  

wXw Shortcut to the Top

August 4 2019

Shortcut to the Top is wXw’s yearly Royal Rumble knock-off show. I love a Rumble! We also have three title matches and Strong Hearts in the house! As wXw starts to build towards their second biggest weekender of the year (World Tag Team League, I’m very excited) we should get a clearer picture of who will be in key positions for that show. We’re in Oberhausen, Germany at the Turbinenhalle with Andy Jackson and Alan 4L. This is the first show with wXw’s new theme songs, which isn’t ideal for a Rumble but hey.

wXw Tag Team Championship – Aussie Open (c) vs. WALTER & Ilja Dragunov: Ilja has better music than in Progress (those drums man, what the fuck) but will anything ever replicate how fired up I get like the Soviet March from Red Alert 3? The NXT UK guys are heel here, having turned into “Superstars”. Interesting that the WWE affiliated Indies are running WWE guys as heels. Doing a fine of judging the attitude of the fanbase.

WALTER as a heel is a chicken, which I don’t agree with at all. Alan claims it as “mind games” but even if they are mind games they don’t work for me. There’s also an issue with the two teams not clicking as well as expected. The Davis-WALTER interactions are good, as were their previous singles bouts, but Fletcher vs. Dragunov is less good. Where the match does work is that it’s so heated. The crowd bite on everything and it’s loud in the Turbinenhalle! The pacing is good and this is a hot opener but Davis is the star of the match and Ilja doesn’t have one of his best days at the office. Until he breaks up the Fidget Spinner with Torpedo Moscow. That’s good shit. Torpedo Moscow flattens Davis after a blind tag and WALTER does magic work in stopping Kyle from breaking up the pin. This felt like it was heading somewhere very exciting but finished a few minutes early.

Final Rating: ***3/4

Absolute Andy & Jay FK vs. Strong Hearts (CIMA, T-Hawk & El Lindaman): A section of fans bow to Andy so he pours his water bottle over them. Francis Kaspin claims to be “fresh” but it looks like he’s going mountain climbing in a 90s advert for the GAP. Strong Hearts are here as part of their global tour. As part of the Rumble gimmick both of Jay FK get thrown over the top and are “eliminated”. That wacky Tommy Giesen! There is a lot of stalling before we get into it. When we do get into it there’s a lot of ‘antics’. The finish is awful too. T-Hawk over celebrating a spot and Kaspin rolls him up. Everyone in this took the night off.

Final Rating: **1/4

wXw Women’s Championship – Amale (c) vs. Toni Storm: Killer Kelly joins commentary for this. Amale seems to have lost her “Winchester”, which was an odd surname anyway. Amale was pretty good at the lower indies level (I saw her wrestle for Kult in 2018) but looks ever so slightly out of her depth here. Just a fraction of a second off. Toni has a high floor though so her drive and smooth counters is enough to make the match work. Amale needs to get sharper and more aggressive to suit her character. She’s been tossed in at the deep end here and it shows. Toni does a grand job of doing everything as well as possible but you can only sell what you’re given. There is a chasm in between them. The finish is that Amale gets frustrated about Toni kicking out of her finish and slapping the ref until there’s a DQ. Hmm.

Final Rating: **1/2

wXw Unified Championship – Bobby Gunns (c) vs. Lucky Kid: This is Lucky’s title shot for winning 16 Carat. I’ve had question marks about Gunns’ run at the top of this promotion because it’s not had the bangers of WALTER or Dragunov but Lucky Kid is a great opponent for him. He’s fast paced, accurate and over. This works into Bobby’s strengths as a technician. The match is well structured and smooth as silk. It’s the best execution I’ve seen in a Gunns match in ages. They have that great chemistry. Lucky lands hard on a dive and Bobby, the bastard, targets where he landed and kicks at his upper quad. This allows Gunns to work various submission holds, which plays into his strengths again. Lucky’s emotional connection to the crowd helps. The match drags a little but that’s due to the story with Lucky persisting and staying in the match despite the injury. With Lucky struggling to stay in the match Bobby acts like a complete prick. Either you die a hero or you live long enough to become a villain (if you’re a champion in wrestling). Lucky is forced to tap and Gunns retains and basically turns heel in the process.

Final Rating: ***1/2

Shortcut to the Top Match: #1 is Francis Kaspin. #2 is Jay Skillet. Jay FK explode! Only not because they refuse to fight each other and wait for #3 Absolute Andy! Obviously they all pal around together and wait for #4 Shigehiro Irie! Irie threatening dudes in German in something I need more of in my life. #5 is Oliver Carter. #6 is Marius Al-Ani. #7 is Kyle Fletcher. The theme of this match is your new guy comes out, hits some spots and then it all settles down into dudes lying under the ropes. #8 is Mike Schwarz. #9 is Avalanche. He and Irie need to have another match. Avalanche does a couple of very sensible charges on Skillet where he stops charging and just stomps on Jay. #10 is Ivan Kiev.

#11 is Julian Pace. I miss his entrance music. He was a shoot car. #12 is Levaniel. He’s an angel. A muscular angel. The Star Prince. He gets thrown out immediately as one of the fans yells “gay boy” at him. Oh dear. #13 is T-Hawk. I like that he goes in and chops everyone until he sees Irie and begs off. I want Irie, Avalanche and T-Hawk in a round robin tournament. #14 is Karsten Beck’s special friend…Sha Samuels. #15 is Mark Davis. Put him in my tournament too! #16 is El Lindaman. Him too. Five man tournament. Everyone lines up for a Lindaman scoop slam (like a young Masa Fuchi – Alan 4L). #17 is Jurn Simmons. He has a tremendous spot where he throws Lindaman at T-Hawk to knock him out. #18 is Emil Sitoci. Avalanche hurls him straight out. This has been a match focused on how strong Avalanche is and he’s targeting the Shotgun title. #19 is Chris Brookes. He’s not a Human Fly unfortunately. Schadenfreude is standing tall with three members in there. They’re far more effective than any other group in this match. #20 is Maggot.

Avalanche continues to dominate the match until Sitoci blasts him with the Shotgun title and Andy throws him out. This was a good showing for Avalanche and helps to set up his inevitable first singles title win. #21 is Ilja Dragunov. We’re into the business end now. Aussie Open are eliminated by Jurn and Dragunov and the tide changes rapidly in three eliminations. #22 is the Rotation! He’s suffered a lot of injuries but it’s great to see him back in a wXw ring. There’s a big shock where Pace eliminates Andy and because the rest of the match has had nothing like that it gets a big pop and will hopefully mean something long term. It’s immediately followed by Jurn and Ilja doing the flip lariat spot on each other. Marvelous. #23 is WALTER. Jurn goes after him full tilt and you get the feeling Jurn is due a big push and perhaps he’ll switch back face. The WWE guys team up on him. I’m hoping for big factional warfare. They have a cage match to settle these things! #24 is Prince Ahura. After Jurn is out Irie is the main anti-WWE guys guy. Sadly he’s also slain by WALTER. The idea being that WALTER and Dragunov and the WWE are ruling the roost. #25 is Vinny Vortex.

#27 is Norman Harras. Wait, where’s 26? Oh, Leon Van Gasteren was attacked backstage. Basically WALTER rules the ring and younger guys come after him and he just destroys them all. The crowd chanting for Thatcher and WALTER laughing and slapping his thigh is magic. That’s when you know you’ve told a story right. #28 is Alpha Kevin! WALTER beats him up and throws him out. #29 is DAVID STARR! He’s back in wXw after four months off, walking out after the Mania show, and WALTER looks scared for the first time. Starr has never beaten him but that just makes him hungrier. Unfortunately he’s unaware that Ilja is still out here. Chair attack from behind and Starr is out. But wait…#30 is TIM FUCKING THATCHER. He’s been missing for five months after walking away from WWE approved Ringkampf. Dragunov is an after thought and gets thrown out. So it’s WWE’s WALTER vs. Independent Tim Thatcher. A battle for the ages. Thatcher chokes WALTER out and he simply drops off the apron. That’s such a Tim way to win. This was a fantastically well booked Rumble match. It was well paced, exciting and they saved the really good stuff for the stretch. The last two entries were really personal to WALTER and all the previous attempts to eliminate WALTER were just build for this.

Final Rating: ****1/4

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The show dipped slightly with a disappointing Strong Hearts encounter and another middling women’s match from wXw. Everything else on the show connected in a big way. They did a good job of building storylines and using existing building blocks to tell that story going forward. Tim Thatcher’s promise to “right some wrongs I left” and in general the reaction to him and his post show speech is wonderful.