As I went over in detail in a prior article, Germany’s wXw recently launched their new streaming service: wXw Now. With the sheer volume of original content that they pump out it could be easy to get overwhelmed, so I’ve picked out a selection of matches from the last month to review that caught my eye. It was a busy month featuring two ‘Feature Events’ and the Marquee Event ‘Fans Appreciation Night’, also notable for containing stalwart of the company Tommy End’s twin farewell matches.
Watch: wXw Now
Sumerian Death Squad Presents: The End
Mark Haskins vs. Bad Bones John Klinger
This match suffered from the same problem a lot of Bad Bones matches where he’s on top: his heat segment really lacked dynamism. Once they got past the seemingly obligatory period of rest holds things did pick up significantly, and we ended up getting an enjoyable match. The strength vs. technique dynamic worked well, and both men laid into each other hard. Worth a watch, but not essential viewing. Bones won with the Shotgun Knees. ***1/4
Sumerian Death Squad vs. Leaders of the New School
This was Tommy End’s penultimate match in his home promotion wXw. This match was just a blast to watch; it’s not going to make any match of the year lists but it was such a fun and easy watch. They started things off very playfully, as you somewhat expect from a farewell match of this type, with a lot of crowd interaction and comedy all of which landed. They then seemingly effortlessly transitioned into the hard hitting cohesive tag-teaming action you more expect from these two teams, and from there it was no surprise given their calibre that the action delivered. This match was exactly what it should have been, and a fitting farewell for Tommy End as he sails to yellower pastures. Sometimes it’s nice to see a main event NOT try to be some great epic. Scurll tapped out Dante with the Crossface Chickenwing ***3/4
Tommy End vs. Ilja Dragunov
While that tag match on ‘The End’ show felt like his farewell, it wasn’t until a few nights later that Tommy End had his last match in the promotion. While the prior mentioned match was Tommy End having a fun match with his mates, this match took a far more serious tone. You could tell they were going for a passing of the torch type feel, with Tommy End passing on his legacy as wXw’s premier hard hitter onto the young Russian, but for whatever reason it just didn’t quite click. It was well enough worked but surprisingly the intensity that you expect and are accustomed to from these two was lacking. Dragunov won with the Torpedo Moscow headbutt. ***
Fans Appreciation Night
Emil Sitoci vs. Marty Scurll
These two are both very talented but the intensity in this match was definitely lacking (especially in the first half) considering this was their first one-on-one meeting after breaking up as a team. While the dynamic of Marty as the de facto babyface while still not changing any of his villainous behaviour in general worked and the match was cleanly worked with some good countering down the stretch, the go away feeling I had from this one was they had a far better match in them despite this still being good. Scurll won after he tapped to a submission while having his foot on the rope, which then allowed him to roll-up a celebrating Sitoci. ***
wXw World Tag Team Championship
Cerberus (Dragunov & Nero) vs. Legion (Dante & Whiplash)
Cerberus were put over strong here, achieving the win after a fireman’s carry slam followed by a super senton. They didn’t need to cheat, they didn’t need any outside interference, they were just the better team. In a promotion that can sometimes be accused of leaning too heavily on the screwy finishes, that was refreshing to see. ***1/2
Shotgun Live Tour Featured Event
WALTER vs. Absolute Andy
The former Big Daddy has recently shed the first half of his name in wXw and replaced it with a more vicious and aggressive attitude. I was looking forward to this being physical war between two big bulls who both like to really lay their strikes in, but there was something missing from Andy’s offense in this one. Where WALTER’s offense all popped, Andy’s just left something to be desired. Couple that was a disappointing and contrived screwy finish, consisting of WALTER taking advantage of Andy arguing with the ref over a chair to hit the Saka Otoshi and achieve the submission victory, and overall I was left disappointed. **1/2
wXw Shotgun Championship
Da Mack vs. Axel Dieter Jr.
I’m not usually a Da Mack guy and generally feel that Dieter needs a good dance partner to impress, so going into this one expectations were low. I was very pleasantly surprised though, because these two went out there and had a really good match. Mack kept his dancing to a minimum (something that frequently kills the tone of his matches) and whenever he did go for it he was rapidly and brutally cut off by Dieter, who really put in a terrific performance using his deceptive size to full effect.
ADJ has been getting a mixed Reigns-esque reaction in wXw for months, and here he took on the de facto heel role to great results. He worked with a real brutality to his offense that really tipped that dynamic over the edge into something great. Something as simple as his double throat chop being used as a cutoff move to stall Da Mack’s momentum repeatedly worked wonderfully. The match had a great flow to it, was constantly engaging and really had the live crowd biting throughout. You could tell these two were very familiar with each other (they are long-time tag partners) from how wonderfully they managed to weave their movesets together for long countering sequences without it feeling contrived.
The one thing that stopped me throwing four at this one was the sloppy execution of the finish, where Mack got his weight too far enough back on Dieter and ended up rolling him over on the Fujiwara armbar, meaning the submission finish came off looking really poor. While that poor execution of the finish definitely took the match down for me, I still really enjoyed it and recommend you seek it out. Easily the best Da Mack match I’ve seen, and may well be the best ADJ match too. ***3/4
While wXw didn’t have a completely blow-away month in terms of in-ring output there was certainly stuff to enjoy. Both the Legion vs. Cerberus and the Sumerian Death Squad vs. Leaders of the New School matches are well worth checking out, and the Shotgun championship match is one I really reccomend you find time in your schedule to watch at some point. While I wouldn’t say this is a must-purchase month, there’s certainly worse ways to spend your time and money. Plus if you sign up now you’ll be subscribed through to when the World Tag Team League comes out, a triple-shot of shows that looks like it is going to be phenomenal.