wXw True Colors 2018 review (4.14.18)

wXw True Colors 2018 review (4.14.18)

wXw True Colors 2018

 

April 14 2018

 

We’re in Dresden at Eventwerk. wXw stacked this card up with a huge main event pitting WALTER against Ilja Dragunov in a singles rematch of last year’s 16 Carat Gold final. Plus Absolute Andy defending his title shot against arch rival Marius Al-Ani in a TLC match. Plus the vacant tag titles to be decided. Plus a few matches aimed at deciding the future of RISE without Bad Bones.

 

Hosts are Christian Michael Jakobi and Andy Jackson.

TKJackson

 

wXw Unified Tag Team Championship

Jay-FK vs. EYFBO vs. Monster Consulting

The belts are vacant because they were in the hands of RISE but Bad Bones left wXw last month. That whole thing is weird. Bones showed in GWF and is now being booked by EVOLVE. I don’t know if it was acrimonious or not. Just weird as he was carrying a belt. CMJ calls it a “suspension” here, suggesting he may return. Nice to see EYFBO back after a good showing in tag league last year. Monster Consulting are the team to back here though. They’ve gotten over in the past few months by going with Julian Nero’s independent consultancy gimmick. Three babyface teams though so the crowd are torn and everyone is over.

 

They have a belting pace with nothing in the way of tags. Those are the rules though. No tags required.  Avalanche does excellent work here. At one point both he and Nero get dropkicked and Nero falls out of the ring but Dreissker, the big powerhouse, merely stumbles into the ropes and comes firing back. He really, really understands his character and role as a big man. His role works well within the confines of the match too as the pace is absolutely frantic. It’s breakneck stuff. The very definition of a sprint. Avalanche kills Draztik with the Ripcord Lariat, which is a tasty move, and Monster Consulting pick up the belts. Terrific match up, all action and under ten minutes. Chuffed for Monster Consulting. Both nice lads. Looking forward to seeing how their reign pans out. It’s a big change of gears from wXw going from the traditional Ringkampf to the super-group RISE to this team. It gives them new and refreshing options.

Final Rating: ***3/4

TKNero

TKAvalanche

 

Audrey Bride vs. Killer Kelly

TKBride

During the Eurodraft preparation (the first one) we had a shortage of female European wrestlers so I actually went out of my way to watch talent from all over the place and I saw Bride then. She’s from Hungary and has been building a reputation, hence me having seen her wrestle already. She’s competed for GWF a fair few times. I like that she’s been drafted in here to be in a showcase match for Killer Kelly. There’s a big belief in Kelly in wXw and it’s entirely deserved. Bride wrestles heel and they had a warm up match the night before this to fine-tune it a bit. This is the benefit of wXw running so many shows! Despite the practice some of the spots need work. The hair mares in this are…different. I’m not convinced by Bride’s strikes either, especially the worked slaps. Like Kelly, Bride has spent most of her career in a smaller territory. Kelly quickly adapted to a move up in quality and Bride will need to show the same improvements if she’s to become a regular. Audrey does ok here, even if there are glaring holes in her work all of it is fixable. I have a sneaking suspicion she may be a better babyface, especially doing the Uma in Kill Bill gimmick. Kelly gets worked up and plants Audrey with a German suplex for the win. Nice bridge work. Kelly is a star in the making but I think Audrey could cut it with the Big Girls too.

TKKelly

Final Rating: **1/4

 

Da Mack vs. TKO

TKRise

So this is RISE now? Mack, Kiev and the Young Lions. That puts Mack firmly in the leader’s position and while Kiev may have been content to sit behind Bones, Mack is another kettle of fish. TKO has a good reputation but I’ve never seen him before. He wrestles for NEPW, another German promotion that runs Bayern. He looks a bit like Bad Bones, if Johnny Klinger was all about displaying his wealth and love of fashion.

TKTKO

CMJ is clearly a fan of TKO, based on his commentary. Shame about the name. He also wrestles as “Chris Legend”, which isn’t much better. European wrestlers are not good at naming themselves. The match itself, once I’ve gotten over the bad names, is really solid. They both go hell for leather and Mack does a fine job of keeping himself heel in a spotty encounter. It’s notable that RISE, all at ringside, don’t interfere at all. They exchange moves for a while and then Mack wins clean with the Unprettier. I think I’d have been a little happier if he’d cheated to be honest but then TKO is a nobody in the wXw continuity so that’s fine.

Final Rating: ***

 

Post Match: Pete Bouncer turns up. He must be irate that Bones is gone. His big feud is gone!

TKBouncer

Mack is all – kick his ass but they turn to face Mack and run him off. Mack has been kicked out of RISE! Bouncer hugging Kiev is a beautiful moment, man.

TKRISE2

Interesting to note that Bouncer introduces a new ‘higher point’ here. Suggesting RISE are bound for greater things with him being the driving force. I can’t wait to see what happens next when Bouncer inevitably can’t back up his claims in the ring!

 

TLC Match

Absolute Andy vs. Marius Al-Ani

A4 won the tag titles in a TLC match so it’s a big deal they’re going back to that stipulation to blow off this feud. Hanging from the ceiling here is Andy’s title shot, making this a number one contender’s match. Normally I’d call that a screwjob for 16 Carat winner Andy but he did use unscrupulous means to get by Al-Ani in the tournament so we’re good to go.

TKAndy

Al-Ani has lost a lot of support since Andy’s turn for a multitude of reasons. 1. He doesn’t have a strong character. 2. He dresses like a ninja. 3. He got beat like a punk at 16 Carat.

TKani

When Al-Ani pulls a fan out, in a TLC match, I’m rolling my eyes. Just drop the ninja act. Then he kicks Andy’s ass with that fan and I’m pretty damn impressed to be quite honest. They do a quick table spot on the stage and Andy can’t climb the ladder to win because the only one he can find it the type you have to lean against a wall. The match is a constant battle of Al-Ani bringing insane high flying, cutting edge offence and Andy meeting it with extreme, but completely legal, violence. It’s a hell of a contest and the fact it’s a blood feud just adds to it. It feels like it’s lacking something and Andy goes lower by taping Al-Ani’s hands behind his back and hitting him repeatedly with a chair. What a prick.

TKMarius

He’s not content with just doing that and winning. He wants to put him through a table too. Al-Ani mounting a comeback with no arms is frankly incredible. Marius climbing the ladder with no arms is terrifying but he also can’t win because he can’t pull the contract down with no arms. Al-Ani was born to do wacky shit with ladders and fall off them onto the ropes and then springboard off. Andy isn’t exactly in his element but he’s smart enough to know what he can and cannot do.

TKAbsolute

Something he can do is hurl Marius out of the ring with an F5 through a table on the floor. Holy shit. Andy pulls the contract down after that because how do you a top an F5 out of the ring?

Final Rating: ****1/4

TKAndyc

 

wXw Shotgun Championship #1 Contender’s Match

Alexander James vs. Lucky Kid vs. Ivan Kiev vs. Mark Davis

Bobby Gunns was defending his title here but he’s injured so it’s #1 contender instead. I’m happy for Mark Davis getting this shot after impressing for wXw in London. I notice he doesn’t belt any Germans with those high fives either.

TKDavis

You’d think Lucky and Ivan would work together but instead Kid does his goofy stuff, which is good, and Kiev is as much a recipient as anyone. It doesn’t suggest any common sense in RISE or maybe it implies a deeper issue with Bouncer/Kiev vs. Young Lions. The other two both have their clear-cut strengths. Davis with his raw power, AJ with his technical savvy. AJ getting submissions on all three guys would be pretty nifty if Kiev hadn’t moved into position for it and put his arm into the hold. It shows that AJ is willing to sacrifice his core beliefs to get more over. We all make sacrifices in life. The match is a belter. Another frantic bout with constant action. This has been a hell of a show for action. It’s almost unrelenting. Close Your Eyes and Count to Fuck puts Kiev away and sets up Davis vs. Gunns. That’s certainly a fresh bout. Davis got over nicely here with the power stuff and if you’ve never seen that finish it has the Wow Factor.

Final Rating: ***1/2

TKGunns

 

Post Match: Bobby Gunns shows up to mouth off at Davis and cheap shot him. The Dresden fans pick up on the “Gunns. Bobby Gunns” chant, even if the execution is a bit off. I’m glad that’s stuck. It was very cool at Carat.

 

Video Control gives us clips of Dragunov’s “retirement’, WALTER’s stipulation and Dragunov’s sensational return and title win at Carat. One of the most amazing swerves I’ve ever seen booked. I mean, shit, it totally makes sense when you think about it but it was almost too obvious that it was all a work so we took wXw at face value and they booked a kayfabe angle, allowing incredible marking out. It was pure joy being in that building when Dragunov came out. Anyway, WALTER set the whole thing up so he gets a title shot out of it.

 

wXw Unified World Championship

Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. WALTER

These two had the European MOTY at Carat last year. Here’s a chance to repeat that! The referee being Felix Schultz (not Tas) should be a big red flag for a ref bump. It’s notable that Ilja is very over, in his home town, despite being in there with a massive mega-face in WALTER. A guy who’s currently billed as one of the best independent wrestlers in the world today. Dragunov’s chest hasn’t healed from Carat yet, so he’s immediately in trouble. He doesn’t back down though and goes right into trying to chop WALTER down to size. He’s a unique wrestler in that he wants to be damaged in matches. He wants to come out a little bit broken so he can rebuild and grow.

TKIlja

Although WALTER batters him in this match, with another fresh barrage of chops to the point where WALTER hurts himself, Dragunov just refuses to quit. It perhaps lacks the emotional core of Carat last year and WALTER has to forcefully heel it up a little to get the dynamic right but it’s still a beautiful collision of manly men. It’s aided by Dragunov being so popular and WALTER being so savage. Those chops are so loud and so painful to watch. Especially with Dragunov falling to pieces once again. Nobody takes a shoeing like Ilja Dragunov and nobody gives it out like WALTER. It’s such an ideal pairing. If Ilja can find the same exact timing and ferocity that makes WALTER a world-beater this could end up being a Misawa-Kobashi level of feud. Wars every time out. Finishers recognised and countered. Layers of storyline, with each match playing into the next.

 

The only major issue this match has is Felix Schultz. It’s so obvious he’s getting bumped, from the moment he’s announced as referee. He takes one hell of a bump from Dragunov’s Torpedo Moscow. Rainer Ringer is the replacement referee and WALTER isn’t pleased with his count and boots him in the face! Finally Tas arrives and he calls it off because WALTER killed a ref, which isn’t on.

 

The officials want to call it for Ilja but Dragunov himself doesn’t want to win that way so we get a re-start. As soon as we re-start WALTER continues the massacre. I’ve seen Ilja Dragunov take some beatings over the past 3 years but this one might even out-do the thrashing he took at Carat 2017. It’s not just chops here. It’s lariats, powerbombs and all manner of viciousness including, but not limited to all of the above and Dragunov being tossed into the chairs surrounding the ring. Not sliding through them for effect but literally thrown into the chairs.

TKWalter

Ilja just won’t quit. He won’t stop fighting. He fights out of pins. He fights out of the Gojira Clutch and the Torpedo Moscow connects. Dragunov retains in an exhausting bout.

TKDragunov

What can I say about this war? It didn’t quite live up to the Carat match because the brutality of that was focused and it was a capper for a big weekend. But this lived on his its own merits. From Dragunov’s sheer determination to not lose, something he didn’t have last year, to WALTER straying to the dark side to do anything to put Ilja down it was tonally perfect. Just a great wrestling match between two great wrestling characters.

Final Rating: ****3/4

 

TKDragunov2

TKDragunov3

Summary:

This might be the best ‘stand-alone’ wXw show I’ve seen. One not attached to 16 Carat weekend. Everything worked. Everything was on point. The action was unrelenting all night and it almost felt like a step away from wXw’s fabled characters/story/build mentality of professional wrestling. But they were able to do this show because of how Carat ended. This was the finale of 16 Carat. Getting to finish, for now at least, the Andy-Marius issue plus crowning new tag champs and getting to have the final say on WALTER-Dragunov after a year of build and two other great matches. Carat weekend wasn’t big enough to do all this so we got this awesome show a month later. It can’t be Christmas every day but wXw’s Christmas came around twice already this year and it’s only April.

 

 

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