wXw Dead End XVII
February 9 2018
We’re in Hamburg at the Markthalle. There’s never been a more appropriate name for a wrestling venue. All killer, no filler on tonight’s card. Four title matches, a 16 Carat qualifier and a hardcore match featuring Jurn Simmons. Let’s do it!
Shout out to wXw’s design guys. The graphics on this show are amazing. I could do without the WWE-esque piped in sound effects but otherwise spot on.
wXw World Tag Team Championship
Ringkampf (c) vs. JayFK
Jay Skillet opened his big mouth and suggested WALTER wanted a soft touch here because he’s focused on the wXw world title.
So this happened to him. JayFK have to use their wits and speed to not get creamed and that’s a solid story. Jay throws a chop at WALTER and it makes me chuckle. You’re going to die! He steps up, taking it to WALTER and gets killed. It’s amazing. WALTER on a rampage is incredible. We’ve seen it before but it never ceases to be incredible due to the vicious nature of it. He doesn’t suffer fools, rookies or posers. He’ll kill them all. Jay ends up getting submitted by Thatcher, doing his bit, but this was all about the dynamic of WALTER killing disrespectful punks. Wonderful sprint to kick the show off. One of the best wXw openers in recent memory.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Post Match: Jay slaps WALTER before the handshake, showing how he felt he’d gotten close to WALTER’s level. Then they shake hands. It’s a nice touch. After seeing this I’d love to see Skillet vs. WALTER in singles. It was a good performance from Skillet, albeit a better one by WALTER.
Jurn Simmons vs. Mike Schwarz
This feels like more of a test for Jurn’s heel persona. Schwarz absolutely batters him from the opening bell. But Jurn is a hard bastard since the heel turn. Rocking the kind of bracers you’d expect to see in Skyrim. They go through the more standard weapons; table, Jurn’s kendo stick before Mike pulls out a beer chug. The crowd are chanting “auf die fresse” here, which is confusing to me because it’s literally “in the face (slang)” but apparently that’s a German way of saying “fuck him up”. Thanks to Captain Mighty Pants for the translation. Jurn is in terrific condition nowadays. He’s looking slim, trim and the overall change of look has been cemented by those bracers and all the cool looking gear. He’s switched his game up and feels like a bigger star for it. Whereas Mike is just a fat guy in a t-shirt. His wrestling is solid but the look is Indie as hell. It’s not the same level of professionalism.
Jurn has it won with a piledriver on chairs but opts to add in a choke hold with the kendo stick for the decisive submission victory. This was rock solid. Jurn got to sell a bit and show another side to his new heel persona.
Final Rating: ***
Ivan Kiev vs. Lucky Kid
Tarkan Aslan has shifted roles from wrestler to manager and it’s probably for the best. If I had to watch him bounce off the ropes to execute a stomp again I might scream.
Kiev has his buddy Pete Bouncer in his corner so he’s losing. Peter Bouncer is a total failure. That’s his gimmick! Lucky Kid is the big success story to come out of the RISE angle. He has incredible facials and mannerisms.
The winner of this match gets into 16 Carat. Chances are it’ll just be first round loser but it’s a spot nonetheless. Probably against a big name. Big spot with lots of eyes on you. It’s also an important bout for the RISE faction. There is a definite division within RISE. Demonstrated by the division within the contest. Eventually RISE will shatter and it’ll come down to whether one of these groups wants to oust Klinger or support him. This is a pleasing outing for Kiev, working someone he’s more familiar with and can cover for his weirdness. Kiev’s style is “unorthodox” and he doesn’t gel with many opponents. An example of that ‘car crash’ style is a super rana from Ivan after he runs the ropes and it’s a fucking mess. Both guys toppling off into a heap. Lucky Kid comes up trumps by countering into the dragon suplex and he’s into 16 Carat tournament. Fair play to the lad, he’s a good wrestler.
Final Rating: **3/4
wXw Women’s Championship
Toni Storm (c) vs. Martina vs. Veda Scott vs. Killer Kelly
An International four-way here. Australia vs. Ireland vs. USA vs. Portugal…in Germany! Toni hails from “Strong Zero City” here. Where is that exactly?
Martina kicks us off by serenading the champion. She was confused by the term “four way dance” and there’s a little boogying. Kelly is much improved since her wXw last year. Working in the big leagues helps you develop. She struggles to set herself up for one spot with Toni literally pushing her into position but apart from that it’s better work from her. Toni has an eventful time out there and she does marvellous work in selling for Martina’s goofy stuff, shaking her head at ringside while waiting for a beer-infused dive. The four characters come together quite nicely with a huge range of styles. wXw does like their wrestlers to have distinct looks and styles and that’s reflected here. You couldn’t confuse any of these wrestlers with the others. There some tremendous crowd interaction here where they don’t want the beer to be spilled and move it when Killer Kelly almost steps on it. Strong Zero puts Martina away in a fun match up.
Final Rating: ***
wXw Shotgun Championship
Bobby Gunns (c) vs. Absolute Andy
Who’s the heel in this? I honestly can’t tell anymore.
Bobby, who’s been getting good reactions, comes out here with a Werder Bremen flag. The crowd end up conflicted. These two had a good match at Back to the Roots but it wasn’t for the title and Andy won there. The lack of clear face/heel alignment is a slight issue but the fans just cheer for whoever they want. Both guys are at least sticking to their strengths and maintaining their characters. In a way it’s the perfect match for wXw where the crowds tend to cheer for whoever they want anyway. Andy brings his veteran game, with shortcuts galore despite his size advantage, and Bobby brings the sneaky heel shit. Bobby’s standard tactic is to upset his opponent by getting in their head and pissing them off but that’s what Andy does to Gunns here. Smoking a cigar pre-match to screw with Bobby’s head. However when we cut to the brass tacks it’s Gunns who comes up with the better psychology. He pisses Andy off by flipping him the bird and stealing his Sharpshooter and superkick. The match has issues with a referee bump allowing Bobby’s brother Vinny (Vortex), who’s on crutches, to get in Andy’s face. This gets the poor bastard killed but it buys Bobby time. Andy comes off as a despicable swine for trying to hurt a guy with a broken leg but the whole incident disrupts the flow of the match. You win some, you lose some. Marius Al-Ani distracts, from the video screen, and Bobby jumps Andy with the belt and gets the submission with an armbar. This was fine until the booking, although from a storyline perspective it all made sense. You have to get from A to B. I preferred their first match.
Final Rating: **1/2
wXw Unified World Championship
Bad Bones (c) vs. Mike Bailey
Bailey reminds us he beat Klinger at tag league in 2016. The pressure is on for Bones, as RISE have effectively told him they’ll elect a new leader if he drops RISE’s only remaining strap.
Bailey has been great whenever he’s wrestled for wXw and CMJ said he’d have Bailey on every show if he was available.
In another sensational piece of storytelling the boys from RISE don’t line up behind Klinger, as they have been. Only Da Mack is here in full support of Bones, the others make it clear he has to win to retain their allegiance. The RISE storyline took a while to take hold but the way wXw have handled the in-fighting has been amazing. Klinger’s selling, before he even hits the ring is incredible stuff. Sad Bones. Bones gets a bit cocky and sends Mack to the back, riding high on the victory over Dragunov at the 17th Anniversary show. He thinks he can beat Speedball. He didn’t last time! The story of the match is Bailey being generally superior and Bones having to bend the rules to get back into it. It’s good stuff from Klinger who sacrifices his ‘tough guy’ reputation for the good of the match, and the good of the company. Klinger is whatever you need him to be. He’s a goddamn hero. He might be the most underrated man in all of wrestling. Which is a bizarre thing to say about someone who’s a champion in wXw but other companies don’t know how to book him because he’s so good at Everything. He can’t be pigeonholed, he’s a chameleon. Bailey does a great job of both playing babyface and taking on Bones at the strike game and looking competitive. The counters in this match are outstanding too. The way they transition from one thing to another is beautifully fluid. From kickouts into submissions, from strikes to holds and back again. Shadow Driver sets up the crossface as Bones wants to make Bailey submit, which is a dick thing to do but he is a dick. The ending was perhaps a little sudden, given the epic nature of the contest but this was the good stuff.
Final Rating: ****
Post Match: Yet more glorious storytelling from the RISE boys. Aslan and Lucky Kid are all happy Bones won because RISE keeps the title and they’re all unified again. But over the other side we Ivan Kiev doing the least interested looking RISE pose, ever, because he wanted to take over and Pete Bouncer, the permanent target of Klinger’s ire, not posing at all. By the time he eventually does everyone else has stopped.
Cracking show from wXw. Their best outing since WTTL. Superb main event, hot opener and everything in between was either good or the booking was positively riveting. You can’t say any fairer than that. wXw have done an excellent job here of crafting a show with no filler. It’s tight, taut, well-paced and the outcome is an easy two hour watch with plenty to get invested in. wXw’s work on Ringkampf, Jurn Simmons, Bobby Gunns, Absolute Andy and RISE so far this year has been great. They’ve done such a good job with the core of their roster. The guys who are carrying the company forward. Even the side-acts like Dirty Dragan are well utilised. The thought process that goes into everything is great. It’s 16 Carat in just under a month. I am very excited to see what they do.