wXw returned to their home base of Oberhausen for the second night of this year’s Superstars of Wrestling, after the first night was highlighted by yet another tremendous match in the series between Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay. This show featured Marty in yet another high profile match against one of his British rivals, so here’s to hoping that it too lives up to the high expectations Scurll and Sabre have set for themselves with their work this year.

westside Xtreme wrestling
Superstars of Wrestling III Day 2
April 23, 2016
Oberhausen, Germany

Watch: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wxwmtw2016

The show starts with Road Warrior Animal in the ring putting over the new World Tag Team Champions from the previous night.

wXw World Tag Team Championship Match
Sumerian Death Squad def. Hot & Spicy

This match really lacked intensity, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of Sumerian Death Squad matches. It is, however, a common failing of matches involving Da Mack. While he’s mechanically solid he always gives off a feel of going through the motions somewhat, and his movement around the ring never feels very natural. There was an instance in this match where he stood stock still completely upright for several seconds while clearly just waiting for his opponent to spear him, it was a real immersion breaker.

Thankfully there was enough quality in the interactions between SDS and Axel Dieter Jr. to make this match on-the-whole enjoyable. Michael Dante was the clear standout in this match, with his offense and general presence being a real highlight. He picked up the win for the champions with a spear. ***1/4

Emil Sitoci def. The Rotation

This is the rubber match between the two, after Rotation picked up a fluke roll-up victory in their first match, which led to Sitoci attacking him at the 16 Carat and then leveling the series up at one apiece earlier in April at True Colors.

Emil Sitoci is likely one of the best wrestlers in the world that you’ve likely never heard of if you’re not familiar with wXw. He’s got such great poise, possesses a fantastic look, sells well and all of his offense is super crisp. The Rotation is a great opponent for him too, being a talented flyer (despite his awful look) whom he can catch, stretch and throw around, so this ended up being a good match with a very efficient feel. They didn’t try anything overly ambitious, going with the simple story of a young high flyer who got overzealous and eventually paid the price at the hands of a clinical veteran. Sitoci got his knees up to counter a 450 splash, and followed it up with a snapmare driver to pick up the victory. ***1/4

After the match The Rotation went for the handshake, but Sitoci was offended by this apparent indignance and proceeded to lay a vicious beatdown on the youngster until he was chased off by Nigel McGuinness.

Falls Count Anywhere
Big Daddy Walter def. Mike Schwarz

This match was set up on the final night of this year’s 16 Carat tournament, where Walter lost his temper with Schwarz and attacked him after he was pinned in a tag match when teaming with Walter and then didn’t seem to take the loss seriously. Since then the rivalry has got increasingly violent, with the two big men having wild brawls  all across Germany, leading us to this Falls Count Anywhere match.

This is going to sound like hyperbole, but I genuinely fell asleep midway through this match. After waking up and rewatching this made a lot of sense. The match starts off great with superb intensity being shown by both combatants, and the closing stretch is also tremendous. However, the middle is some of the most dry brawling you’ll ever see. There’s no dynamism, the intensity evaporates, and it just feels like they were filling time. This was a match that would have been far better served going eight high intensity minutes rather than the shade under 15 that it did.

That all said, the magnificence of the finish nearly made me love the whole match. After brawling all around the arena, they ended up back in the ring. Schwarz had Walter caught on the top rope and was attempting to chokeslam him through several chairs that had been set up in the centre of the ring. Walter made the first move though, and ended up reversing the move into a powerbomb which he purposefully executed not onto the chairs. He then stood up, broke a kendo stick over his knee, kicked the chairs out of the ring and then finally executed a Saka Otoshi and submitting his opponent out in the centre of the ring without the need of any weapons. Big Daddy Walter has no time for your hardcore bullshit. **1/2

Cerberus (Dragunov & Nero) def. Black Fire & Gangrel

What a bizarre match this is. A Russian and an Austrian against a DTU youngster and Gangrel. Yep, that Gangrel.

They kept this short and inoffensive, and to give Gangrel credit he certainly put in a level of effort above what you might expect. The match was instantly forgettable though, and it’s only purpose was to give Cerberus a win after losing the tag belts the previous night. **

After the match Cerberus’ manager Adam Polak got on the mic and called out the Sumerian Death Squad, but with Cerberus now back up to their full numbers (with Dirty Dragan replacing the injured Robert Dreissker) this brought out not only the Death Squad but also Mikey Whiplash. These three men are known collectively as Legion in ICW, and now look to be a unit in wXw as well. Predictably, this lead to a six man brawl which didn’t come across predictably well and saw Legion dominate. This was all done to set up a six man tag for the tag titles at wXw’s next big show Shortcut to the Top.

I question the logic of having things play out as they did. The Sumerian Death Squad just beat Cerberus for the titles the previous night, and then on this show they utterly dominate them in a brawl. It just gives off a perception of Cerberus as a non-threat for Legion, which isn’t really what you want when trying to build a big match between them. This felt like what should have happened if Cerberus had exploited their numbers advantage on Night 1 to retain the titles, but that’s not what happened.

John Klinger def. Sonjay Dutt

This was two consummate professionals having the definition of a match. It was mechanically good and they executed some cool stuff without any sloppiness, but at the same time I never really cared about anything they were doing. They never got me at all emotionally invested, and when it over it was almost instantly forgettable. As soon as the match finished my only thought was “well that was good”, and that’s what it was. Good. ***

Zack Sabre Jr. def. Marty Scurll

Tag partners collide in their first one-on-one encounter of 2016 (they have since faced off again over in  the States at EVOLVE 61). If you’ve seen either of their 2015 tournament semi-finals in the PWG Battle of Los Angeles or the PROGRESS Super Strong Style 16 then you know exactly what to expect with this one, it played to the exact same formula.

There are those who really love the style of match these two have together, a style style that is probably most accurately described as playful technical wrestling. A lot of the stuff they do is very flashy, and many of their sequences had me thinking “oh that was neat”, but the match really lacked any purpose. This encounter came across as a display rather than a contest, and that’s a real problem for me and has become a pattern in matches between these two. I vastly prefer either man’s series of matches with Ospreay, which feature far better building of a match and, to go back to this central theme, a real feeling of purpose to the work. This was born out this weekend over Scurll’s two matches. While this encounter received appreciative applause the crowd the Scurll-Ospreay match the night prior had the crowd near immeasurably more invested. While they did inject some intensity into proceedings towards the back end it wasn’t nearly enough for me to not leave this match feeling extremely unfulfilled. This wasn’t a bad match, but I found it extremely disappointing given the years that these two guys have been having. Sabre Jr. picked up the win with a flash bridging pin. ***1/4

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship Match
Jurn Simmons def. Jeff Jarrett

Jurn Simmons may have the best look in wrestling. He could easily be transferred directly into a show like Game of Thrones or Vikings without any alteration needed; he’s a simply monstrous man that’s incredibly intimidating. Think Hanson but more cut and far less goofy looking. Meanwhile, Jarrett was wearing his Bullet Club trunks. Because of course he was.

Sadly, as soon as the bell rings Simmons is somebody I have no interest in, especially when matched up against somebody like 2016 Jeff Jarrett. He’s a wrestler who is all about the entertainment side of wrestling, caring nothing for workrate or dynamism and instead boringly sticking to tired formulas and being a walking personification of the cheap heel champion stereotype.

This match was overbooked and boring, and most certainly not for me. Jarrett isn’t going to drag a good match out of anybody these days, and Jurn isn’t going to offer one up willingly.

Oh, and on top of all of that we had apparent babyface Jeff Jarrett putting Simmons’ valet Melanie Grey over his knee and spanking her repeatedly mid-match. Yeah. Yuck.

This was utter garbage. DUD

Thankfully the show managed to end on more of an upnote than that abomination of a main event. After retaining his title Jurn made his way up the ramp to sit on a throne that was awaiting him while bedecked in a robe and crown, which was admittedly a very cool visual. This brought out 16 Carat Gold winner Zack Sabre Jr., who kicked Simmons off of his throne and then followed up with a penalty kick. The show ended with Zack holding Simmons’ title while standing on the man’s throne, setting up their title encounter for wXw’s next big show Shortcut to the Top.

Final Thoughts:

Superstars of Wrestling Night 2 was not a good show. After starting out nicely with the first two matches everything started under delivering. While there were four good matches, nothing is worth going out of your way to see, and this wasn’t helped by a mediocre at best crowd. The show was very much relying on Sabre Jr. and Scurll to carry the in-ring quality, so it underwhelming left this show really lacking. Oh, and then the main event was even worse than expected.

The biggest positive of this show was the commentary. I purchased the English commentary version, and they really added to the card. It’s so refreshing to hear commentary that focuses completely on the action in front of them, and throughout the night they really enhanced the ring work being presented. It almost sounds silly that I’m essentially praising the commentary team for ‘doing the commentary job properly’, but it’s so rare to see these days that I feel it needs to be praised when it does occur.