wXw Dead End (2.15.19) review

wXw Dead End

 

February 15 2019

 

We’re in Hamburg, Germany at the Markthalle. This show is potentially a memorable one as Veit Muller steps up to face WALTER for the first time and is eager to show to his Ringkampf mentor that he can hang in the ring with the Ring General. Hosts are Rico Bushido and Andy Jackson. This is the last major stop on the road to 16 Carat Gold so there are matters to take care of also.

 

Winner Picks Carat R1 Opponent
David Starr & Avalanche vs. Jurn Simmons & Tim Thatcher
The winner of this match gets to choose who they face in the first round of Carat. There are two possibles. Avalanche has an issue with Simmons and would likely select him if he won. Starr meanwhile is hungry for WALTER and desperately wants to finally beat him this year. This is four of wXw’s better wrestlers clashing so it has a big match feel. I’m reminded of Starr/Jurn being a big feud in the company last year too. It’s the reason why Jurn is bald. The match doesn’t get a lot of time, which is fine because it allows them to go full pelt and make frequent tags. The traditional ‘hot opener’. Tim and Jurn are a bit of a mismatched duo but Jurn is keen to prove he can mat wrestle to Tim and Thatcher is all business. It’s only when Jurn decides to mock WALTER’s pose that they have issues develop. The stretch in this is really fun with everyone bringing different skills to the dance in a fast-paced conclusion. Both teams develop issues with blind tags and Starr sneaks in to beat Jurn. Thus allowing him to select WALTER as his opening round opponent in 16 Carat. That’s a match that I’ve been looking forward to for some time. Could this finally be Starr’s time? Or will be come up short once again? Starr selfishly tries to explain his actions to Avalanche and the big man is the bigger man and shakes hands. Should have battered him mate.
Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Video Control gives us a catch up with the unfortunate Melanie Gray, who can no longer wrestle in Oberhausen. Killer Kelly asks her how she’s doing but then superbitch Toni Storm turns up to mock her. Toni then turns her attentions to Kelly and the Killer says she wasn’t nice asking for a loser leaves town match.

 

Toni Storm vs. Killer Kelly vs. Faye Jackson
It’s a bit weird that you’ve got Storm and Kelly who have the issue and the history and then Faye randomly thrown in there. wXw has never had a great handle on their women’s division but at least in Killer Storm there is something that makes sense. Toni is a complete bitch here, deliberately beating the shit out of Kelly. There feels like genuine heat between Kelly and Toni and I’m here for it! As with all wXw women’s matches this is unfortunately short but it’s a good bout with three talented women involved. I really love the Toni vs. Kelly strike exchange. Kelly pins Faye and examines the wXw Women’s Championship, the one she once held. It’s a statement of intent. This was non-title. At 16 Carat we have ourselves a tite match. I am fired up for it. Kelly has spent the whole of Toni’s reign getting back to the point where she could challenge again. Now she’s ready!
Final Rating: ***

 

wXw Tag Team Championship
RISE (c) vs. Jay FK
This is a weird situation. The only reason for Jay FK dropping the belts was the cage match so all the belts could be on the line in the RISE vs. RISE storyline. RISE shouldn’t be the tag team champions in my opinion as the belt obscures Pete Bouncer’s abs. There are big question marks over everyone in this match, in terms of their actual in-ring talent. Jay FK are better and more in tune with their gimmicks but it’s RISE who come across better here as powerhouse champs. It’s a better match than I was expecting, although that’s not saying much. They keep a good pace and only some of the spots look too deliberate. Kiev kicks Skillet in the noggin and Bouncer drops him with a Cradle DDT. Solid outing from everyone involved. Bouncer has certainly improved since I last saw him in a match where he could have been exposed.
Final Rating: ***

 

WALTER vs. Veit Muller
Muller has been trying to join Ringkampf and he impressed Tim Thatcher and Axel Dieter Jr but not WALTER. This is his chance. Veit is from Hamburg so he’s popular here. Muller feeds off the crowd and delivers a strong performance, leaving WALTER borderline shocked. The match is a real throwback, like Veit himself, and could have taken place for Otto Wanz. It becomes apparent, despite early successes, that Veit isn’t in WALTER’s league and the match turns into a war of attrition. Only one side is doing the bombing. Veit’s valiant comeback is something else. He certainly has that scrappy Catch technique. He’s far more entertaining here than he is usually too. He has that extra drive and desire. The rana out of the powerbomb is magical. I love how Veit tries to stand up to WALTER at every stage of the match regardless of how successful he is. I also dig WALTER just throwing that murder chop whenever Veit tries shit. Like when he’s up top or whenever the space happens! It’s the sheer size of the fight that Veit brings to this match that makes it important. He refuses to lie down, refuses to back down and refuses to quit. Comms describe this as “hard, tough men”, which ties into the traditions of European wrestling. There are not a tonne of guys who’ll take the fight to WALTER. Not only that he puts a fucking beating on WALTER at times. Clubbing lariats and such. WALTER finishes with a Tombstone but Veit was the real winner here. You have a break-out match like this and it shows you’re good enough to be scrapping with main eventers on the reg. Kudos to Muller.
Final Rating: ****1/4

 

Post Match: WALTER offers a handshake and the moment is interrupted by that toerag Starr, again totally self absorbed and oblivous to everyone else. Simply because he wants to challenge WALTER and WALTER happens to be in the ring. At least let Veit have his moment first. I hope Veit batters him for that.

 

Lucky Kid vs. Da Mack
Mack hasn’t wrestled in Hamburg since before his heel turn and long term injury thanks to losing a ‘loser leaves Hamburg’ match to Bobby Gunns. But he’s back here at the request of Lucky Kid as he cost Lucky a Shotgun title match in Hamburg. It’s a case of ‘he’ll turn up anyway, can I kick his ass while he’s here?’ Lucky goofs around a bit too much considering he’s supposed to hate Mack. There’s definitely question marks over Lucky’s capacity to tell a story of personal hatred as his character seems driven by love not hate. The Tarkan Aslan match was bad too. This isn’t as bad as that, because Tarkan isn’t here, but it’s not good. There are issues at times where they don’t click and it doesn’t feel tonally right at any point. “I like this match” yells Rico as it picks up a bit. I sense in his voice that he didn’t like it to begin with. Mack passes out in the crossface in a weird finish. This wasn’t good. Kid showed a rare failing in not being aggressive enough and Mack didn’t exactly cover himself in glory on his return to Hamburg action.
Final Rating: **

 

A4 vs. Bobby Gunns & Ilja Dragunov
If Gunns wins he gets a title shot at Carat. If A4 win then Marius gets a title vs. title match against his former bestie. Gunns is unbeaten in Hamburg for almost two whole years. There is a potential issue for Bobby; his brother Vinny Vortex is in his corner. He’s not turned on before but hey, time will tell on that sibling rivalry. Ilja is the most over guy in this, which makes it strange that he’s not in contention for the title. Although I understand the focus has been on him for the last two years and his series with Andy didn’t have the best of pay offs. Andy has done amazing character work over the past year but a lot of his big matches have not paid off as expected. At least he draws mostly heat here in Hamburg, compared to a mixed reaction in Oberhausen. The contest is at its best when Ilja wrestles Marius. That’s a huge potential main event bout for some point. Marius’ pure athleticism against Ilja’s raw energy. The match has a major problem; Ilja looks far better than Gunns. Even if Bobby wins the title, Dragunov is going to overshadow him. It’s a tricky spot for all involved. Part of the trouble stems from Gunns taking the edge of his persona by being such a babyface. I’d rather he was a jerk that got cheered. Changing your personality when you turn face usually results in losing your edge. The finish is totally weird with Andy ringing the bell with Marius trapped in a submission. A confused Tas has to point out to Bobby that he hasn’t won. That Andy is a master manipulator. The match ends up carrying on for another five minutes. Gunns shocks Andy with a pin out of nothing and Bobby will challenge Andy for the title at 16 Carat. That N2 main event is a heavy burden. I hope they’re ready for it. As I mentioned earlier I thought Ilja looked like a goddamn star here.
Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Summary:
A relatively solid show from wXw. A lot of their booking issues of late were not in evidence here. It felt like a focused show, one aiming toward 16 Carat Gold weekend. The builds are in place and I’m excited to see what happens on their biggest weekend of the year. Gunns vs. Andy for the title there. Plus the tournament. Plus Starr gunning for WALTER. It should be a wild ride.

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