wXw Broken Rules XVII
November 18 2017
We’re in Dresden, Germany. Hosts are Christian Bischof and Sebastian Hollmichael for the German language feed. For the English feed it’s promoter Christian Michael Jakobi.
Ilja Dragunov vs. Da Mack
It’s a little odd for the 16 Carat winner, and main event star, Dragunov to be opening the show but he has unfinished business with Da Mack for costing him the title at tag league. Da Mack has updated his ring gear, doing away with the evil tassels. He’s still evil but is sans tassels.
Instead he’s sporting this spiffy mask and RISE pants. It all goes to prove that he was a dick all along if was harbouring the desire for all this nonsense. Ilja smashes him for it. Mack gets nothing until Ilja makes the mistake of going up top too many times. Ilja, because he’s a lunatic, decides to take a bump face first into the ropes while running full tilt and busts himself open the process. It cannot be stated enough; Ilja is completely nuts. He called himself a “psycho” and it’s hard to argue with that assessment. Mack’s control period isn’t particularly engaging but Ilja has a pleasant habit of mounting comebacks whenever he feels the crowd sliding away. Mack looks tidy and fluid here, despite having a flippity babyface offence. It’s tough for him to wrestle heel but he does so through facial expressions and contact lens. He feels like a poser. He’s doing flips because he’s a prick! Where Mack falls short is in the sense of realism that Ilja is so good at. Mack still feels like he’s moving as part of something that’s choreographed. Ilya doesn’t wrestle that way and it exposes Mack by putting him in there. This being a RISE match there’s bullshit. The RISE boys run in, Chris Colen makes the save against his former companions and Dragunov finishes with Torpedo Moscow. This was a tough one, booking wise. Dragunov is the top face in the company so he can’t lose. Mack just turned heel. This is his first major singles match since. Ideally you don’t want him losing either. I guess Mack can blame Colen for the loss.
Final Rating: ***
Jurn Simmons vs. Alexander James
Jurn has a new job in wXw; making midcard talent look more important. AJ is a trainer at wXw’s Academy and well respected by the promotion so he’s in line for a push. Jurn has already had two title runs so it makes sense for him to slip back into being a ‘special attraction’ for a while. AJ is the chosen opponent because he stirred up shit and wrecked Massive Product as a team. He got in David Starr’s ear about Jurn’s ego and attitude. James is suitably cocky but Jurn doesn’t bring a lot of emotion into this. The idea is that he “doesn’t give a shit” about anything. Which is a fine gimmick until some a-hole comes along and breaks up your tag team. That’s when you need to give a shit. Otherwise why should anyone care about the match?
James is a smart enough worker to work around the lack of emotion. He makes it about himself. He behaves like an unconscionable prick, going after Jurn’s arm to set up his Coat of Arms submission. It’s the same hold as Zack Gibson’s Shankly Gates, in case you were wondering. Jurn is at his best in this match while firing off power moves. wXw would be well served to having him squash someone every now and again. Just to remind people what he’s capable of. The suplex where he just throws James across the ring is excellent. The idea being that he can’t execute the move normally due to his injured arm. Jurn can’t get the piledriver because he cannot holds his hands together, James slips over the top and hits a brainbuster for the shock win. This was all about James’ tactical nous. He comes out of this with a huge win and Jurn loses nothing in being beaten. Clearly big things are in Alexander’s European future. He’ll certainly be back.
Final Rating: ***1/4
wXw Shotgun Championship
Ivan Kiev (c) vs. Laurance Roman
Marius Al-Ani was scheduled here but missed the show due to illness. wXw sorted themselves out sharpish and put a battle royal on the pre-show with a title shot as the prize. It was won by Laurance Roman. He’s been wrestling on wXw tours for years but this is the first time I remember seeing him on one of their big shows. If you really want to watch the warm-up battle royal it’s on wXwnow.de. Roman is a small guy, a veritable cruiserweight. 5’ 7”, 165lbs. Kiev actually comes across really well here, as he’s the big bully and his strikes look far more convincing than usual. He’s still a little clunky and needlessly pauses during the set up of moves but it’s a better showing than usual. Even his goofy 619 move from the floor looks less shit than usual. Jakobi points out that Kiev “does it all”. Yes, but most of it he does poorly. He demonstrates this immediately in another clunky spot where he misses a punch in the corner in a fashion you normally see in children’s cartoons. Hey, it’s fine to just appeal to the children in the audience but the crowd has layers. Your work needs to have layers too. Death Valley Bomb puts Roman away. This was fine. Kiev needed a challenger and Roman stepped up. At short notice it’s what you get. I’m glad Al-Ani didn’t get jobbed out, to almost certain bullshit, here.
Final Rating: **1/2
wXw World Tag Team Championship
Ringkampf (c) vs. Bobby Gunns & Jaxon Stone
So Gunns beat Thatcher as part of his 2017 run. WALTER got revenge and beat him to restore Ringkampf pride and Gunns got upset, recruited Jaxon and took Thatcher’s eye.
Lights! Camera! Ringkampf? Yes, Jaxon has his ‘official’ Ringkampf shirt on, which is a white shirt with “Ringkampf” written on it. WALTER is not happy about that. Jaxon has been filming skits under the name “Hans Krueger” and WALTER is about to kill poor Hans. Jaxon is nowhere near WALTER’s class but WALTER is fun taking apart anyone. When Bobby comes after WALTER the giant pissed-off Austrian beats the shit out of him. The challengers are forced to cheat but this further enrages Thatcher and Tim rips off his eye patch! Gunns has improved so much this year and yet his physique needs work. That bit of puppy fat will hold him back. The no DQ stipulation means tornado rules but it also allows an assortment of plunder to randomly enter the match. Normally WALTER is opposed to such nonsense but seeing as the challengers bring this abuse he merely dishes out the suitable abuse. Jaxon Stone gets powerbombed through two chairs to get eliminated and Bobby Gunns is left 2 on 1. He still refuses to back down! The great thing about Bobby Gunns is no matter how much of a swine he is, he’s still convinced his way is right! For his insolence he gets a lesson in Ringkampf. It’s a strange scenario, with the heel left 2 on 1 and having to cheat to stay in the match. It’s testament to how much of a jerk he is that he gets booed despite his disadvantage. Tim gets his face stamped into thumbtacks, which would make for a fantastic visual but sadly the camera doesn’t get it.
There are a few sickening bumps before Bobby gets tabled and Ringkampf retain. As if Jaxon & Bobby were going to win the belts. This was sickening at times and suitably violent with Thatcher virtually turning into a death match wrestler. The last segment was a little too long with Bobby on his own. Yes, Ringkampf needed to get revenge for the Gunns heel business but two faces beating up one heel for an extended period never works for me. The violence was pleasing though.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Dirty Dragan & Emil Sitoci vs. Jay FK vs. Monster Consulting
Was Young Money Chong injured too? He’s Dragan’s normal tag team partner. Dragan recently palled around with both Nero and Avalanche so it seems odd he’s opposing them here. Especially as Dragan has been wrestling face and now he’s teamed with heel Sitoci. Jay FK carry the work load while Avalanche waits on the apron. As soon as Avalanche is in there the tone changes. Only Dragan gets anything and his work is pure comedy. It would be an interesting wrinkle to Avalanche’s character if he couldn’t beat Dirty Dragan! Comedy could be his Achilles heel. In the ‘breaking down’ sequence Sitoci looks great. He’s so good at holding things together. This is why he never gets the big push because he’s always there for an undercard match that needs a little extra glue. Sitoci is wrestling glue. He even does faultless comedy work with Dragan, accidentally taking an elbow to the face. Dragan finds himself isolated because of his own miscue and Avalanche puts him away. Monster Consulting are next for Ringkampf.
Final Rating: **3/4
Commentary is now Christian Michael Jakobi and WALTER!
Jinny vs. Martina
Jinny recently lost to Mella on forfeit because she couldn’t fly to the show. The result is that she has to beat Martina here or she’s done.
Martina does exceptional work in getting rolled up and kicking out…without spilling her beer. WALTER is unimpressed with Martina drinking during a match and doesn’t understand how she’s been so successful in the rankings. WALTER, you are so Ringkampf, mate. The beer drinking and spitting stuff gets over in Germany very quickly. Martina’s gimmick is not region blocked. Jinny focuses on her work and it’s really solid but the match is overcome by Martina’s antics. It’s a frustrating situation for Jinny, who walked into this tournament the most over woman in German wrestling and now finds herself second fiddle to a joke wrestler. “Goofiness can also offer distraction” preaches CMJ. Jinny takes some wicked bumps off Martina’s stuff, including a huge one onto her neck for a missile dropkick. Martina picks up the win and Jinny is effectively out of the tournament. What a crushing disappointment that must be for her. You can’t argue with Martina’s popularity in Germany though. She’s gotten over with all and sundry almost instantly.
Final Rating: **1/2
wXw Unified World Championship
John “Bad Bones” Klinger (c) vs. Chris Colen
Colen was one of the men who formed RISE but found himself on the outs after the arrival of Bad Bones as their leader. Colen figured himself Klinger’s equal and wanted a title shot. He was booted out of the group and had his arm smashed in a chair. I was expecting heavy tape at the very least from Colen but he’s wearing no protective clothing at all. The match has a few hijinx like Tarkan Aslan trying to hold a singular ladder up for Bones to climb. Only it’s way too short. This is followed by Bones being kicked so hard that he throws a chair into Colen’s hands. It’s all very silly and causes wry smiles. CMJ’s line of “what am I supposed to do? Build a metal fence around the ring?” when asked about RISE interference plays directly into the forthcoming January cage match show. I felt that was heading for RISE vs. Cerberus but it’s hard to say now.
Ivan Kiev is the second run-in. Quite why RISE feel the need to ration their run-ins in a match with no rules is anyone’s guess. They could have turned up in numbers and held Colen on the stage while Bones pulls the belt down. It’s an issue with RISE as a stable and with booking big groups. Making everything continue to be logical is tough. I know wrestling generally has these logic holes but it shouldn’t. Someone should have asked ‘why don’t all of RISE run in?’ and gone from there. Either have Bones specifically tell them not to run in or have the babyfaces take the support out pre-match.
Welcome to the Bad Bones house of furniture stacking! Not comfy on one chair? Try a dozen! This is part of a subplot where Bones is as interested in killing Colen off than he is in retaining the title. As if Colen’s insolence needs to be destroyed to keep his other minions in line. Klinger falls onto the chairs and it doesn’t have the impact you’d imagine. It looks quite comfortable in fact. RISE run back in and this time logic prevails with Ilja cleaning them out. But why did he wait this long?
With Dragunov heading to the back they start to set up another spot. This one even more elaborate than Bones’ nest of chairs. Then they do stupid slow climbing and punches over the top of the ladder.
Just as the match is losing me they do a fantastic spot where Da Mack pulls the belt up out of Colen’s reach. Oh my god, it looks so great. Mack then heads down to finish Colen off and carry Bones up the ladder to retain his title. There was a lot of booking in this match. Some of it, especially Da Mack stuff, worked and some of it, like the various run ins early in the match being staggered, did not.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Not one of wXw’s best shows this year. When RISE hasn’t worked out it’s been a disappointment. That said they did great work with Da Mack lifting the belt up. The visual was magic. As per usual the show was a visual feast what with Thatcher getting thumbtacks in his face. The show peaked with the tag title match but nothing was bad. On a modern show you almost expect something to crack the four star ceiling. wXw have to cater to different audiences and 16 Carat is very much the weekend they cater to the “smart marks”. The rest of the time they tell more traditional stories. There was a lot of that at play here. At the end of the day the ongoing booking and storylines are more important than popping off a bunch of ***1/2-**** matches. I get that. Just don’t expect to see this show listed among the best at years end. Or even end of the month. Just a necessary cog in a larger machine.