Adventures in Oberhausen #4: #wXwWTTL 2018

Adventures in Oberhausen #4: #wXwWTTL 2018

ADVENTURES IN OBERHAUSEN IV:

 

WORLD TAG LEAGUE 2018

 

(OR 1ST CLASS JOEY “BIG ABS” PIGLET’S BOWLARAMA)

 

October 4 2018

 

5am.

I am awake. I have been awake for 30 minutes and I am woefully underprepared for the start of the weekend. Oddly enough the 6 hours sleep I just got will be the most I get all weekend. My lovely wife agreed to drive me to Birmingham Airport and it’s a relatively uneventful journey until she tried to drive into the long term parking instead of the drop-off and we had to do an awkward U-turn. Swigging from a can of Monster I made my way into the airport.

 

5.45am

I’m in Birmingham International Airport ready to head out to Germany. It’s already going well as the first person I run into is none other than the Big Dog (@konychimel).

With him is Dizz (@emilyjaynemorse) who I’ve never met before and is flying for the first time since she was a child. All for the love of the wrestling. Sunny Oberhausen welcomes all. We’re in the Eurowings super budget check in queues to take the Felix Kohlenberg Special to Dusseldorf. I check in on my phone because the queue is so long and the QR code doesn’t scan anywhere.

 

7.15am

We’re off. It’s the workers plane, dubbed the “Legends Express” by Jamo for containing not only us but also Chris Brookes and Aussie Open. I was planning on meeting various people at the airport and heading over to Oberhausen via train but Gunni (@GDPhotographyDE), Germany’s finest sports entertainment photographer, has room in his car and gives us all a lift. It’s my first time on the Autobahn and I see a speed limit sign marked at 120km/h. That’s quite fast. “It’s only because there’s a turning” says Gunni. That’s where you slow down. Otherwise there’s no limit. He regales me with a story about his driving instructor getting him to do 180km/h because he’d got a new car and wanted to see how fast it would go.

 

11am.

We hit 360, a sports bar in  CentrO (Germany’s largest shopping mall), for the first beers of the trip. Gunni has lemon in his. “It’s quite strange but its ok” he assures me.

After a bite to eat we check in to the Tryp and I’m Mike Kilby’s neighbour! The benefits of being a Melia Rewards silver card member. We were “upgraded”, which presumably means we don’t have to use the lift as it’s a ground floor job, and we get free apples.

 

3pm.

This may come as a shock but it’s back into the bar, testing out the seats in the Tryp, for an afternoon beverage ahead of Inner Circle, the first show of the weekend. Joao (@thekingofboom – you should definitely follow this guy) joins us and I reward his dedicated friendship by giving him a worker name; Joey Piglet. We’re also joined by Rob Reid, BritWres Roundtable co-host, stingy star-rater and failure at public transport. This leads to a lot of conversation regarding shoot names, vanity searching and a critique of Mike’s “poor drinking speed” before we head down to the station to catch the train to Essen-Zollverein Nord. There are so many Brits and Irish on the train that our congregations manage to block three doorways.

 

We encounter the same awkward ticket situation as last time. If it’s already validated and there are things printed in the end bit of the ticket it doesn’t need to be stamped. Trying to explain ticket stamping is really hard but we all made it through fine. Apart from Richard Benson (@RichardBensonE), who is bad at travelling, who left his card in the machine. Mike amuses me for the first time this weekend by being Very Alive at the station, munching on a donut and exclaiming, loudly, “it’s got raspberry in it”. Life is better with a Kilby in it.

 

“The Human Thumb approaches”

 

 

6pm

 

INNER CIRCLE.

I remember the route to the venue and turn around to make sure everyone is with us at the key turning point and count up around 30 people following me. Inner Circle is getting more and more ridiculous every year. I think the crowd split was 50-50 for people outside of Germany and German natives. Compare this to my first one at Carat 2017 where there were a handful of Brits and it’s amazing how it’s changed. The man who has overseen all this change is Alan (@Alan4L); enthusiastic podcaster, lover of pro-wrestling and commentator for wXw’s English language shows. He pulls up in the front seat of a taxi with other Irish talent in the back. “Well he did call Shotgun”.

 

Inner Circle is a Super No Vacancy. It’s packed. It’s hot as hell considering we’re in October. Many European wrestling dignitaries are around ringside including Mort (@BrotherMort) who took a train into Essen from Denmark! His first contribution to festivities; “what’s up with everyone speaking German?” (EDIT: this was actually Joao, my bad – AF) Never change my friend. One of the best parts of wXw live events is straight-laced announcer Thomas Giesen coming out to party music and everyone dancing. Definitely set me up for a fun night.

 

 

Inner Circle results:

Australian Open beat Coast 2 Coast

Julian Pace beat Benjamin Van Es

LuFisto beat Kris Wolf

Tim Thatcher (in his own house) beat Fred Yehi

Okami beat JayFK

Lucky Kid beat Chris Brookes

 

Overall Inner Circle is not the kind of show where you’ll see blowaway matches but it’s always a good measuring stick for how the weekend will go. If the talent are all fired up on Inner Circle you’re in for a good weekend. It’s a chance for talent from overseas, like Okami, Wolf, LuFisto, Coast 2 Coast and Yehi, to test out some spots and gauge reactions. Some highlights:

 

  • WALTER watching from the Crow’s Nest and laughing at Mark Davis’ chops because they’re so savage
  • Pace not knocking over any old ladies on his way to the ring.
  • “You don’t know what it’s like to be pretty” – Van Es to the entire crowd.
  • Tim Thatcher coming out to “Looking For Freedom” by David Hasselhoff and flummoxing the Brits who had no idea what it was.
  • “Who’s house?” “Tim’s house”.
  • Yehi’s terrifying powerbomb.
  • A frankly bizarre theory that Allan Cheapshot (@allancheapshot) is a vampire who’s killed an kindly old couple in Essen and is now living in a coffin in their attic.
  • Unification Day in Germany being when Westside Xtreme Wrestling and Eastside Xtreme Wrestling unified their world titles.
  • Wanting to book a street fight in Essen but not having to make any noise because of the neighbours. Just lots of headlocks. Chops banned. No clapping. No thigh slaps.
  • Kamitani working like he’s in the Tokyo Dome and trying for seven stars off Davey Meltzer.
  • Brookes & Lucky Kid defeating the Undertaker & Kane via count-out. Brookes suggesting we might see Kane do “his fire thing”.
  • This:
  • https://twitter.com/STRIGGA/status/1047913952959778821

 

9pm.

Thanks to STRIGGA (@STRIGGA) we get back to the hotel before anyone else and record the first in a series of podcasts for Voices of Wrestling. Mort is the first guest and is super nice about everyone. This is the Inner, Inner Circle. Afterwards we head to the bar because I am On Brand this weekend.

 

Midnight.

After insuring Rob got a spot in the STRIGGAMOBILE it is deemed that “Kota Ibushi is the Japanese Rob”. Allan also chips in with “Mike Kilby is the worst” after Mike offered to split the hotel room with him and never got back to him. I get filled in on the rules of the Oberhausen Open and I’m sad I can be in two places tomorrow.

 

2am.

Should probably get some sleep.

 

October 5 2018

 

8am.

Rob forgot to close the curtains. The morning sunlight wakes me up. 6 hours sleep. The second longest period of sleep I’ll get this weekend. If only October 5th Arn knew what was in store for him. Coffee helps.

 

11am.

We grab Mike and head to CentrO, grabbing coffee at Starbucks and running into Gunni again. The biggest mall in Germany and it doesn’t have a JD Wetherspoons? Unbelievable. We have a chat about Progress and their seven hour (est.) Wembley card. The consensus from the Germans there is that the show was good. I’ve still not seen it.

 

Noon.

Louisiana. Press lunch. I have the pleasure of sitting with both Marvin (@Marv2punkt0) and Griese (@xGRIESEx); two of my favourite Germans. Both provide valuable notebook content. “Tim Thatcher is the next David Hasselhoff….only more technical” – Marvin. On being told the bowling tournament would be 90 minutes only; “quick and dirty” – Griese. I’m also sitting near Michael “Shaggy” Schwartz, wrestling promoter and certified circus clown. He tells me that Patrick Struebbe can’t make it to lunch. He then walks in. Shaggy: “that’s his twin brother Alan Struebbe”. The wrestling Alan’s; plentiful even in Oberhausen. The menu is next to present chortles with Mike Kilby referring to one Italian style burger as “The Italian Dream”. “It’ll never sell”. As Patrick tells me “all good things come from a Kilbylicious mind”.  I also learn that Rob is half Swedish or as he put it “two quarters Swedish”. More nonsense:

 

  • UK Pitbulls on Celebrity Wrestling. “Serious wrestlers refused to appear”.
  • WWE are the Chelsea of wrestling. Signing everyone and then loaning them out.
  • Buster’s Erotik Discount sells beer at one euro apiece and may, or may not be, a front for the mafia. I couldn’t possibly comment one way or the other.
  • Tas (@wxwTas), effectively the main man in wXw with CMJ taking a break, sat listening to Mike and Dan (@GolazoDan) ramble about various wrestling things.
  • TNA talk inevitably turns to Puppet the Psycho Dwarf threatening Jeff Jarrett with a gun before being hit by a chair. Cheex breaking the ring at their first PPV and other silly stuff.
  • Fantasy booking the tournament. I don’t have it written down but I’m 95% certain I correctly predicted the final.
  • World of Sport timeslots chatter.
  • Someone, who I won’t name, absolutely shooting on Bad Bones as being a terrible human being and “a piece of shit”.

 

Some guys are over in 360 so we stroll down to chat with an assortment of Irish and British fans that are over including Shauna, Chris Linay, Dan the Dazzler and Blayne. More nonsense and stories were forthcoming;

 

  • Roy Knight headbutting a toilet wall in Preston.
  • Chris Linay (@greatBashHeel) booking Rev Pro to be all factions and the Cockpit having a home and away end.
  • https://twitter.com/ArnoldFurious/status/1048146462058668033

 

3.45pm

We’re in our third bar of the day specifically to meet up with JP (@JPjipeee), It’s not the only time we end up talking about David Starr rubbing one out on camera but it’s the only time I’ll mention here, specifically because JP gave me this great line; “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from wrestling – don’t tape yourself wanking”.

 

4pm.

MEDIA CENTRE INTERVIEWS

 

 

Monster Consulting (@AvalancheDRSKR and @NeroConsulting):

 

  • Avalanche is in the Oberhausen Open but he’s got a bruised thumb and may do badly.
  • Nero hasn’t bowled in years.
  • The tables match was a good match for Botchamania.
  • Both want to wrestle in UK and Ireland but it’s hard to work around wXw’s schedule.
  • Avalanche thinks their strong team comes from their strong single abilities within it.
  • Fave current team: the Bar and the Revival.
  • WWE training with Robbie Brookside was the toughest three hours Avalanche had had in a “long, long time”.

 

Tassilo Yung (@wxwTas):

 

  • When asked who had final decision on booking he said it was a “creative team”.
  • WALTER has to make his own decisions and isn’t necessarily tied to wXw forever.
  • Would happily use WWE talent if it was available in some kind of exchange.
  • Have a good relationship with Big Japan.
  • Re: Bad Bones. There was disciplinary action for a serious issue. He’s in touch with John and open to using him again in the future.
  • The business split will have no effect on the product.
  • CMJ was originally due to leave after Tag League but moved it up when he wasn’t feeling well. Tasks have been re-arranged internally. No hires will be made. Ticketing outsourced to give more time for staff to focus on other jobs.
  • Re: Mania weekend. “This may not be the best time for this but it’s New York”.
  • Wants to use Takeshita from DDT as Mike Bailey thinks he’s the best wrestler in the world.
  • US show planning is at an early stage.
  • Pleased with wXw Now content.

 

Dirty Dragan (@dirtydragan):

 

  • “Aleister Crowley; he was an evil magician who helped Winston Churchill beat the Nazis”.
  • “I’m trying to summon demons but its not working”
  • He’s upset the Twitch video didn’t save for the Oberhausen Open draw.
  • “I want to do a cooking show. Cooking drugs”.
  • “I want to fight 10 rat sized Jurn Simmons”
  • “A Jurn Simmons sized rat would be a murderer”.
  • Thinks society is more accepting of mental health issues. Is glad Jakobi is getting help.
  • Reads off his spotify list: Alice Cooper, Kate Bush, a lot of doom metal and ska.
  • “Songs about murder and dismemberment”.
  • “Ska is coming back”
  • “Should I be a rapper?”
  • “I will judge you. There are no prizes. You can win my respect” – of Karaoke.
  • Starts asking STRIGGA questions. “What’s your favourite animal?”
  • Patrick has to kick him off the stand. He doesn’t leave, instead joining the media.

 

“I wasn’t done”

 

 

Jurn Simmons (@JurnSimmons):

 

  • “How much do you hate David Starr?” “A lot”
  • WWE chances; doesn’t know much about it.
  • Never expects to be recognised. Was happy with reaction in Rev Pro.
  • Nothing currently lined up for the UK. “It’s harder than I thought”.
  • “I tailored my style to not getting injured”. The ankle break came as a shock.
  • Patrick was his favourite Spongebob Squarepants character. Now it’s Squidward because he’s always depressed.
  • Wants to wrestle Alexa Bliss given the IG ‘anyone’ option.
  • Got bitter and depressed while injured.
  • On exposing the boards for Last Man Standing: “It sucked. It hurt. A lot”.
  • Has no designs on the wXw world title as he’d already done that twice. “What’s the point?”
  • Wants to do a lot more on his Twitch channel. “Video games let me escape the harshness of reality”
  • Got social media purely for wrestling “In general social media is lame”.
  • “What’s bigger than massive?” “An Absolute Unit”. An Absolute Jurnit (Dragan)

 

GUNNS. BOBBY GUNNS (@bobbygunz28):

 

  • wXw schedule makes it tough to get booked in the UK.
  • Has “something lined up”.
  • Says he wasn’t allowed to smoke inside in London.
  • “Is smoking a gimmick?” – Jurn. “I don’t smoke, I’m a professional athlete”. “Fuck you” – Bobby. “Fuck me? Fuck you!” Jurn is a great interviewer. “You got a storm coming”
  • Respects wrestling history, especially in Germany. Wants to bring that old ground style back.
  • Is an asshole “because it’s fun”.
  • Influenced by Billy Robinson and Steve Wright.
  • “The old CWA guys. They are the real legends”
  • “I don’t make fun of the business like most guys” – glancing towards Dragan and Jurn.
  • Wants to bring back that “Thesz style”.
  • Been giving tips to his brother, who was injured for 11 months.
  • When he wins the wXw belt he won’t cut his hair until he loses it.
  • Puts over the British and Irish fans for their energy. Wants the fans to sing “all match”. (Spoiler: he gets his wish).

 

7.05pm.

wXw WORLD TAG TEAM LEAGUE N1

We’re on the top tier press gantry and the lighting has changed somewhat. They now have spotlights pointing up into the corners. So standing in my usual spot I’m completely blind. Luckily industrious Rob finds us a better spot.

 

wXwWTTL N1 results:

RISE (Bouncer, Kiev, Bouncer’s abs) beat Coast 2 Coast

Toni Storm beat Meiko Satomura

Lucha Brothers beat Okami

Monster Consulting beat JayFK

Julian Pace beat Lucky Kid, Fred Yehi & Emil Sitoci

CCK beat Ringkampf

Aussie Open beat Team SPLX

David Starr beat Jurn Simmons

 

Overall this was a great opening night. The Block A matches delivered huge and Starr/Simmons was the best match of the weekend. A terrific bloody blow-off for a feud that hadn’t always produced the best matches. Lucha Bros vs. Okami had one of the best opening minutes of any match this year. Some highlights from Night One:

 

  • Jurn attacking Sebastian Hollmichael and shaving a piece of his hair off but his hair looking perfectly normal afterwards!
  • Alan4L walking past after Lucha Bros/Okami and saying “fuck me sideways”. Yeah, it was that good.
  • Jay Skillet being a shit Andre Schurrle.
  • Jon Gresh getting in WALTER’s face.
  • Lucha Mark Davis.
  • Jeff Cobb casually lifting both Kyle Fletcher and Angelico like they were nothing.
  • Starr coming off the balcony.
  • Jurn basking in his own glory.
  • The blood. The waxing. The thumbtacks. The kendo stick. A bloody brilliant end to the Simmons/Starr feud.

 

Midnight.

 

While half of Oberhausen has gone bowling I’m over at the Haus Union for Jim Smallman’s Friday night stand-up/history of wrestling thing. During the event Jim brings out a mixture of stand up, bits from the book and crowd interaction. It’s part of a show his publisher wants him to tour but it’s not ready yet. “Some of this is shit” he mentions very early on. We cover all of wrestling history including Dragon Dragon before going into a few more personal stories including the Wembley crowd being 147,000, PAC vs. Ospreay as a match he wants to do, Pete Dunne using his position as WWE UK Champion to use a piledriver in his match (and not telling Jim he was going to do it) and David Arquette offering to be in the pre-show battle royal until he found out the show was happening in England. I also got to talk to Jim for around 45 minutes after the show, just shooting the shit about booking, talent and storylines. Trying to get my faves booked in Progress. I’m not sure if I can repeat any of it in print but I have scoops.

 

3am.

I’m back at the Tryp and the bowling has finished. Mort and Mark Davis won! Mort is in the bar celebrating his victory with the medal around his neck.

 

Joao didn’t feature at the top of the scorecard, because he’d never ever bowled before. His points total? 23. We laugh about it for a few minutes solid. He blames vodka. Mort claims the alcohol made him a better bowler. “Drunken Master”. The chat moves to sport. Rob brings the incredible take that “Pele was a fucking fraud”. Mort then gets apoplectic when he finds out Nike is pronounced “Ni-key”. To the point where he flips the internet off. More shocking is Rob’s revelation that he walked to the bowling on his own and didn’t get lost.

 

October 6 2018

 

5am.

It would be irresponsible to be up this late.

 

9am.

Urgh.

 

11am.

Over to CentrO again for some pizza and bowling stories. There are tonnes of Brits and Irish at 360 and I swear this is the most imports a WTTL has ever had. On walking toward the Turbinenhalle for Femmes Fatales we decide next year we should do a World Laser Tag Team League. Security playfully attack STRIGGA on his way in. “Still better than York Hall” a voice behind me cries. Marvin strolls across the car park, looking like a sports agent with a coffee in one hand and a phone in the other looking hassled. “It was work. They don’t know how to use the coffee machine”. I get in my longest chat with STRIGGA all weekend where I suggest he use Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to get rid of WCW PPV’s from 2000 so they can watch them again.

 

 

2pm.

 

FEMMES FATALES

 

Femmes Fatales results:

Meiko Satomura beat Wesna

Millie McKenzie beat Audrey Bride

Killer Kelly beat Kris Wolf

LuFisto beat Toni Storm

Meiko Satomura beat Millie McKenzie

LuFisto beat Killer Kelly

Melanie Gray beat Martina

Meiko Satomura beat LuFisto

 

Overall this was an enjoyable mini-tournament. I didn’t get the MYC rematch I wanted between Kelly and Meiko but the right wrestler won and Satomura will be back. The biggest shock of this show was that Mella vs. Martina was low key great and Martina’s best match, ever. Some highlights:

 

  • Meiko looking extremely happy at all times.
  • Meiko popping up after taking a Wesna big boot looking more fired up than I have in my entire life.
  • Shauna’s power boos.
  • Kris Wolf singing into the house mic.
  • Kelly’s Shibata dropkick.
  • Me referring to Meiko’s theme as an “all time banger” and then wXw’s account referring to Meiko’s match as an “absolute banger” quite soon afterwards.
  • Kelly nearly dying on a Burning Bomb.
  • A double springboard Seshbreaker from Martina popping me and everyone around me.
  • Martina making up with the Irish after Carat.
  • “Killing bitches is my business and business is good” – LuFisto.
  • https://twitter.com/ArnoldFurious/status/1048581128549015553

 

4pm.

Straight out of the venue and into the media centre to record a podcast. Guest at this time; Lee Malone. Lee is thrilled that as he’s talking Martina strolls past and they both try to avoid eye contact. Bury the beef Moth!

 

5.30pm.

wXw WORLD TAG TEAM LEAGUE NIGHT TWO

Back into the Turbinenhalle for N2 of WTTL. It’s 25C today. In early October. It’s summer weather. Just insane heat for well into the autumn. We’re quite early for the show so get food from the venue’s eatery. A two Euro Bockwurst served with two slices of stale bread. Still not delivering quality on the food but sometimes any food is what you need. The currywurst on show leads to a story about the best currywurst. Not fancy restaurant currywurst but the kind you get from a dirty van. Mike is there so naturally the conversation heads off in weird tangents including him talking about poor drainage at the hotel and wearing a showercap resulting in “showering in thunder”. Sounds like a finisher. We end up suggesting he start an Onlyfans account where he sings wXw wrestlers entrance music in the shower.

 

The referee’s names being embroidered into the shirt is a beautiful touch. It’s so professional. As we’re waiting for the show to start we get something akin to a pre-show party with wall to wall bangers playing over the PA system. Many of which result in sing-a-longs. N2 is my designated night for hanging around on the floor and breathing in the atmosphere. Oh…what a night for that.

 

wXw WTTL Night Two results:

Marius Al-Ani beat Julian Pace

Okami beat CCK

JayFK beat Team SPLX

Ringkampf beat Lucha Bros

Toni Storm beat Wesna

Aussie Open beat Monster Consulting

Ilja Dragunov beat Bobby Gunns

 

 

Overall this show featured some absolutely mind-melting action but it’ll be remembered for the main event crowd. I’ve never heard anything like it.

 

This went on for FIFTEEN MINUTES AT THIS LEVEL. The longest duelling chant I’ve ever heard was three or so minutes and that felt like ages. Can you imagine this? Greatest atmosphere of any match I’ve ever seen live. Absolutely unreal. Some other highlights:

 

  • “Shitty little ninja”
  • Marvin (@mizuardo) asks me I know what “vollgas” means. “Yeah, full….gas”. When sleep is lacking.
  • Bowing disrespect from CCK.
  • The whole Gresham-Kamitani sequence from near the end of their match.
  • “I’ve never seen Skillet and Schurrle in the same place” – STRIGGA
  • Dragan saying there’s one match left in the Dirty Dragan trial series and if he loses he will leave wXw. Which in turn leads to Alexander James returning and helping Jurn Simmons to beat poor Dragan.
  • Tim no selling Penta’s chops.
  • Penta vs. WALTER.
  • WALTER booting Penta off the apron and wiping out three fans.
  • Wesna is representing the “pleather generation”.
  • Aussie Open wearing their heel gear against mega-face Monster Consulting.
  • Literally the entire of the main event. Never, ever heard anything like it.

 

Everyone is left shattered. Rob is sitting on the wall at the back of the building. JP walks past. “Are you alright mate?”

“No”

 

The show finished we immediately head back to the hotel to record bringing an eclectic field of “Audio Caramel” Mike Kilby, “Booming Allan Cheapshot” and Ian Hamilton. It’s probably too many people but the basics is that the crowd was incredible. All time good. I found myself describing it as “hundreds of Ogdens” at the afterparty.

 

1am.

“I just saw Bad Bones”

“That’s Marius Al-Ani”

 

2am.

“We lost two fucking wars. Back to back”.

 

2.30am.

Potential three-way tie in Block B elicits some suggestions. OPTA Indexing. Goal difference. Percentage of chops landed.

 

3.30am.

“What’s the difference between a squirrel and a rabbit?”

 

4am.

What happens at the after party stays at the after party.

 

4.15am.

[REDACTED] steps [REDACTED] out. “Done a full on Martina”

 

4.30am.

[REDACTED] did [REDACTED] to [REDACTED]? But the age difference alone?

 

5am.

We lost [REDACTED]’s son in Oberhausen. How does this happen?

 

5.30am.

Should probably go to sleep.

 

5.45am.

“I don’t trust the water”.

 

6am.

No really, we need to sleep.

 

October 7 2018

 

10am.

We awaken on very little sleep for N3 and immediately get into the absolute weirdest conversation of the weekend with Rob. We go through world history but with everything in wrestling terminology. Make lengthy comparisons between the perception of Winston Churchill outside the UK and Bret Hart’s 1997 run. My body is not pleased with me at all. Autopilot is officially off. Walking is no longer easy. I’m like a phone on battery saving mode. Only memos, camera and maybe maps left on. Conversation is actually hard and I have forgotten how to spell.

 

“Rico has big Dutch energy”

 

We meet up with Mike Kilby and head to McDonalds where we run into Sarah Flann and Jenna. I end up having another weird conversation with Rob about Gene Okerlund looking a bit like a mole. “Do you think he’s blind?” “Do you think he burrows underground?” Dirty Dragan appears and we enter into the Dragan quotes section..

 

“Fan Expo is a farce dude. Write that down”

“I hate sports. I hate fighting”

“That is one shitty kid” – loudly at a miscreant child within earshot of the parents.

 

And yet there is madness at every turn. A little kid behind me starts yelling “Lamborghini”. “Young Julian Pace”. Mike Kilby starts into his Rico Bushido impression. “Hi…I’m Rico Bushido. Welcome to wXw Fan Expo…..(long pause) I SMOKE WEED”. Rob details his lack of emotions and while referring to Low Ki; “we’re a lot alike, you and I”. In the midst of this Killer Kelly, Millie McKenzie and Meiko Satomura walk into McDonalds. So I have now accomplished a hidden achievement (worth at least 50G) where I held the door open for Meiko Satomura in McDonalds in Oberhausen.

 

Noon.

SHOTGUN TAPINGS

[EMBARGOAT]

 

Nothing to see here. Move along.

 

2pm.

Back to 360 at CentrO with a bunch of the Irish lads (@bohsjohnny etc) and the German guys that I rarely get the chance to hang out with. Rob is still bringing the content with darts twitter, his brief career in “sports gambling” and turning football into the most nerd thing possible. I have ‘expected goals’ explained to me. Stats! We then move into full on wrestling nerdery. The success ratios of finishing moves, breaking up of pins (3 strike rule in Japan, in WWE you only get one), how was the Shattered Dreams legal? “Depends on which way you dress”. The use of cups. Joey Piglet’s work here earns him the nickname of “Big Abs”. We later add “First Class” to that when he sneaks into that section for the flight home. First Class Joey “Big Abs” Piglet. It’s his weekend. The Irish lads talk about the Tivoli and how it’s had more ‘one last show’ style retirements than Terry Funk. Then I bump into Rotation, which I’m really happy about because he’s a lovely guy and we have a chat about Monster and charities and whatnot.

 

4pm.

wXw WORLD TAG TEAM LEAGUE N3

Always remember the Turbinenhalle has a two beer minimum. 6 bons. You buy at the door. It is not optional.

 

wXw WTTL N3 results:

Ringkampf beat Okami

CCK beat Lucha Bros

Wesna beat LuFisto

JayFK beat Aussie Open

Team SPLX beat Monster Consulting

Jurn Simmons & Alexander James beat Emil Sitoci & Dirty Dragan

Lucky Kid beat Tarkan Aslan

JayFK beat CCK

 

Overall the third night was a bummer. An absolute downer with the second half featuring three massive down endings. Monster Consulting losing their tag belts, Dirty Dragan being run out of wXw by Jurn Simmons and JayFK winning the tag titles. Prior to that it was better with Block A ending with two more bangers. Utterly incredible hit ratio in that block. Other highlights:

 

  • Glad I got the chance to pop Dennis Birkendahl by nailing down the Ringkampf pose.
  • WALTER vs. Kamitani is a match I would pay good money to see live again.
  • Rico calling WALTER “Big Godzilla” on comms so loudly I could hear it.
  • Kamitani chops WALTER until he bleeds his own blood!
  • CCK and Lucha Bros delivering one of the most action packed matches all weekend.
  • Patrick telling me I would be allowed back at 16 Carat “if you behave”.
  • Aussie Open returning to babyface green for their match with heels JayFK.
  • Avalanche clinging onto his title a little longer than Nero. Selling how much it meant to him to be a champion.
  • Jurn absolutely clobbering Dragan with a lariat so hard Dragan didn’t even bump it. He just got belted.
  • The reaction to the bulk of the crowd drowning out the abusive Tories up top in support of Dirty Dragan.
  • Lucky Kid putting the RISE storyline to bed.
  • JayFK’s platinum trophy blonde hair dye job between matches.

 

8pm

With us all sad we head over to Alex for the traditional post-tournament meal. Again I got to take the lead followed by a stream of wrestling fans. We end up taking over half the restaurant. Not quite as many as at Carat but a very impressive number. Big Chris is revelling in his new “Monster Gaijin” tag, given to him by Mort while talking to a Japanese lady in Big Japan merch. Joey Piglet nailing the comedy again by claiming he was “cultivating mass” (it’s funnier if you’ve seen how smol he is). He goes on to say; “my fitness goal is to look like Cyber Kong”.

Once seated we get into the banter. In particular with the Irish lads I end up sitting with. We remodel Rey Fenix’s gimmick for a Western market. He’s now Raymond Phoenix: Attorney at Law. We have a new highly recommended meal at Alex; the Thai red curry. I didn’t eat it but it smelled fantastic. An idea for Carat: all dress like Oli Court so we can be a Court of Oli’s (stemming from my suggestion that Lee Malone can slide into the media centre and pretend to be Oli).

 

Traditionally this would be the end of the night. Get some actual sleep for once this weekend. However we were all a bit down and fancied a pick-me-up so it was off to the Tryp bar (myself, Rob, Mike, Joey P, Shauna, Big Chris, Benno, JP and a few others). What started as a few turned into a lot and we ended up sleeping around 4.30am. But we had a great time chatting shit and shooting the breeze. The interactions outside of the wrestling this weekend were amazing. Every time it seems to get better and better and the wrestling is much the same.

 

So yeah, we were disappointed at some of the booking and I had to message Dragan for a while after the show to make sure he was ok (as we were most definitely not ok) but as an overall weekend it was lovely. So many friends, old and new. So many daft conversations, all-time great crowd noise and emotions of all kinds.

 

Wrestling is not always kind but the people you meet because of it are. These weekends in Germany are the best. If you’re not going you’re missing out. I cannot stress this enough but wXw is so much better live and it’s really good on VOD. The Turbinenhalle is my spiritual home. It’s not a church but its holy ground.

 

Arnold Furious (@arnoldfurious)

October 8 2018

Already counting down to Carat.

 

 

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