wXw Shotgun #297
March 21 2017
If you thought I’d had enough of wXw with 16 Carat you’d be mistaken. It’s a company that have captured my imagination so I’m back immediately to check out their Shotgun TV show. Host here is Alan Counihan.
Video Control kicks us off with footage from Ilja Dragunov’s huge Carat weekend, with wins over Robert Dreissker, Tim Thatcher, Bad Bones and WALTER on his way to being crowned 16 Carat Gold 2017 winner.
We’re taken backstage where Ilja Dragunov who waxes lyrical about his life, the lack of room for failure in Moscow before calling Adam Polak a “false father figure”. He’s embracing his freedom, which has finally arrived and that’s why he’s won 16 Carat.
Elsewhere Robert Dreissker throws jobbers around and demands Dragunov. Karsten Beck gives him the match at True Colours.
Francis Kaspin vs. Veit Muller
This was taped in Hamburg back in late February. It was a ‘dark match’ on Dead End. Muller is representing the local Hamburg Indie “Nordish Fight Club”. It’s another chance for Kaspin to show his skill in front of a sizeable crowd. It’s easy to see why he’s such a stand-out for wXw’s Academy and how he’s been fast-tracked to the main roster. Muller is fine but you can tell he comes from an inferior system. His forearm lifters are really nice but stuff like kicks and other rudimentary strikes are on the weak side. With the standard being so high in Europe even the lesser talent need to be nailing that all-around game. It’s a tough business nowadays. Muller would benefit from being on more wXw shows as he’s clearly got something but he’s so unpolished. Kaspin beats him with a diving bulldog.
Final Rating: **1/4
Video Control takes us backstage where Alpha Kevin has a tender moment with Mel Gray. They’re happy to finally put the Marius feud to bed. So while they’re making out spotty oik Bobby Gunns shows up to shake his head. I’d be fine with that being a feud. Good characters all around. From there we get subtitled comments from Kim Ray at 16 Carat. It’s actually nice to find out what he said in a long promo. Karsten Beck greets him backstage and thanks Kim for saving him. Elsewhere Zack Gibson, loudmouth scouser, has words with Sebastian Hollmichael. He plays the prima donna card and cuts his promo. It’s weird to hear it without loud booing. Felix Kohlenberg shows up to tell him to “respect the rules”. Chris Colen arrives too. “What are you supposed to be?” says Zack.
Melanie Gray vs. Marius Van Beethoven
This was taped back in early March, making me hopeful another match off that show made tape too; WALTER vs. Matt Riddle. This is the first inter-gender match in ten years in wXw. Which shows how important the need for Mella’s revenge is. Marius, weasel that he is, taps out after a few seconds to avoid a beating but Alpha Kevin throws him back in. Inter-gender matches are a tricky beast. It takes very talented people to pull it off. A fine example would be Fight Club Pro’s inter-gender stuff, where the women are just presented as wrestlers. Nixon Newell and Kay Lee Ray have thrived in that environment. Here it’s more storyline related with Mella having suffered at Van Beethoven’s evil hands for months. The weird part is that here Marius works soft as anything, not wanting to accidentally hurt Mel, which comes across as weird in a blood feud. Especially when Alpha Female was working stiff as fuck against Melanie. The punch that leads to a ref bump is especially awful. It doesn’t make a jot of sense as Mel wins clean with the Texas Cloverleaf moments later getting her second submission of the match. This stunk, frankly, and I can see why it was hidden away on a tour show. The big pay-off matches in this feud were way better and I don’t understand why Marius found it so hard to wrestle Mel.
Final Rating: *1/4
Video Control takes us backstage where the defeated Marius is comforted by Dirty Dragan. Marius is drunk is tearing up his Marius Money from 16 Carat. Dragan bonds with Van Beethoven over a love of gold.
Elsewhere Karsten Beck thanks David Starr for his efforts over Carat weekend and being Shotgun champion. Starr refers to Sitoci as a “wannabe Billy Kidman” and says he’ll be back in June to reclaim his belt.
Elsewhere Tommy gets a word with wXw Unified Champ Jurn Simmons. He looks very happy. Karsten Beck looks pretty miserable after his beatdown at the hands of Ringkampf. Jurn suggests he should find a way to punish Christian Jakobi instead of getting into a funk.
Chris Colen vs. Zack Gibson
This is Gibson’s first match for wXw. Hopefully the first of many as wXw look to replace some of the WWE bound talent that they were using from the UK. Gibson is the better striker of the two. You can tell they’re not overly familiar with each other with a degree of awkwardness being apparent. As they become more comfortable with each other, as the match advances, the sequences get a touch more ambitious. It’s probably not the best of showcases for Gibson, who’s far better when he’s able to work the mat. Colen isn’t really a mat grappler, preferring to do more American style stand up. The stretch is really good with a few big spots littered around. Colen is a big powerhouse so he’s able to get out of the Shankly Gates and hit the Angel’s Wings for the pin. This got better and better to the point where I was disappointed it ended when it did.
Final Rating: **3/4
Shotgun is an ambitious TV product for wXw to make. They’re clearly keen on building storyline and characters by having them appear in backstage conversations and interactions. It’s a shame the in-ring they select for the show is so incredibly inconsistent but ultimately it’s all done in the name of storytelling. I’m unlikely to watch it every week but it is a good tool for keeping up to date on storylines.