wXw Superstars of Wrestling III Day 1
April 22 2016
We’re in Hamburg, Deutschland for a star-studded event from German based promotion wXw. Imports for this show include the BritWres trio of Zack Sabre Jr., Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay plus American stars Sonjay Dutt, Gangrel and Jeff Jarrett as well as Black Fire from DTU in Mexico who’s been in Germany for a while now.
wXw World Tag Team Championship
Sumerian Death Squad def. Cerberus (c)
This feud has been rumbling on for a while and is getting really hot thanks to Tommy End’s knee injury angle at Sixteen Carat. It was a “I’m not really left handed” Princess Bride style reveal that the crowd enjoyed immensely. Julian Nero actually missed Sixteen Carat with his own injury, with Ilja Dragunov taking his spot. This is a big old brawl until Cerberus settle into heat on Dante. The hot tag leads directly to the Anti Hero on Dragunov but Dirty Dragan (Dutch wrestler Dragan Spazic) pulls the ref out and it looks like Adam Polak has masterminded a screwjob only for Road Warrior Animal to run in for the save. This allows End to submit Nero for the belts. This was more storyline than anything else and was sub-ten minutes but achieved what it set out to do, which is switch the belts and have a big moment for SDS. **3/4
GFW NEXGEN Championship
Sonjay Dutt (c) def. Black Fire
I’m not sure what GFW are calling this the “NEXGEN” title for, as Dutt is well into his 30s. Basically it’s Global Force’s cruiserweight/X-Division title. Dutt is well travelled, his Cagematch career page looks like a who’s who of global promotions weaved into a tapestry. I’ve not seen anything of Black Fire in Mexico, as I don’t get to see much lucha, but DTU have a solid reputation for producing talent in recent years (Drastik Boy and Flamita immediately spring to mind). Black Fire has been hanging around Europe in 2016 to try and expand his skill set. Dutt handily outshines him with solid cruiserweight work. Apart from the usual irritating lucha ticks Fire does ok, especially hitting an intense senton onto Sonjay’s shoulder, an area he’d been targeting. Fire has some intriguing offence including a double underhook where he drops Dutt into a double knees. It’s always nice to be introduced to a new move. They have a terrific sequence going to the finish where both guys counter big moves for around 30-40 seconds until Dutt finally counters into a DDT and finishes with a splash off the top. This was not without issues, mainly surrounding the slight clash of styles, but it was a fine athletic contest. ***
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Bobby Gunns
Sabre won Sixteen Carat and is in line for a title shot. Gunns is a wXw guy who scored a win over Sabre at wXw’s AMBITION 7 tournament. He probably regrets that victory here as Zack ties him in knots demonstrating outstanding technical mastery of grappling holds. Poor Bobby can’t even escape a cravat, which Sabre holds for as long as he wants to before getting bored and doing something else. Gunns is completely out of his depth but does good work on the arm, including slipping Zack’s forearm through the turnbuckle pad before kicking it. It shows that Gunns is more than just attitude. Such examples of attitude are Bobby smoking as part of his pre-match ritual and grabbing his cock during the contest. Like a German Michael Jackson. He’s clearly nowhere near Sabre in technical terms and he looks borderline clumsy at times but his control periods are passable. Sabre does good work in selling the arm to make the assaults worthwhile but he’s also capable of working around it. A marked contrast to some modern grapplers who simply stop selling when it suits them. Eventually Bobby gets caught in the Young Boy Killer and Sabre gets the submission win. A valiant showing from Gunns, who looked good in defeat and worked the arm consistently well but Sabre just had too much for him. ***1/2
Axel Dieter Jr. def. Sasa Keel
Axel is from Hamburg and his crowd support is better than it was at Sixteen Carat. At one point the entire crowd stand up and chant Axel’s name in support of him. Axel is playful in his work, picking the arm and doing headstands while working it. Keel is far more aggressive and that, in turn, brings out Dieter’s passion to get the win. It gets more intense as the match progresses and Axel gets pissed off to the point where he knocks Keel out with a headbutt. This was unexpected and the building of intensity as the match progressed was nicely done. ***1/4
Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay
This is their fourth big meeting in 2016 already (Rev Pro, PROGRESS, Wrestlecon) and the crowd chant “this is awesome” before it even starts. The Germans were treated to a tag match featuring the BritWres duo during Sixteen Carat weekend and it stole the show. The baseline for these two is around **** because they have so many fun spots that are extremely hard to execute. They’ve managed to develop a near falls sequence where both guys show familiarity during it so it’s not a two count by Scurll then a two count by Ospreay, there are counters in between to show Marty as the superior mat technician. It’s good storytelling within an exciting back and forth contest. It’s testament to both guys that they don’t just do a ‘greatest hits’ match here and find new counters and fresh ideas. When they do hit the rapid fire sequences that they’ve become famous for it’s switched up again with different moves but the same difficulty. I’m slightly taken out of the match by Marty getting spittle all over his beard. But then you’ve got Ospreay using his CHAOS links to have a Rainmaker set up to a one man Spanish Fly. The layering of the New Japan storytelling and his spot heavy style is perfect. The match gets a wee bit spotty towards the finish but the crowd go absolutely mental watching it happen so it’s tough to criticise. When a crowd is booing the impending time limit you know you’ve got them wanting more. Ospreay gets picked off before the time runs out though, again attempting a Fade Cutter and getting trapped in the Chickenwing. You’d think he’d have learned to stop doing that by now. This was awesome, as all their matches have been this year. The switching out of moves and subtle changes didn’t go unnoticed. ****1/2
Post Match: “Will Ospreay, I may not like you but fuck me, I’m proud of you” says Scurll, regarding Ospreay’s fight here and New Japan contract.