wXw brought their We Love Wrestling tour to an end with Shortcut to the Top out of Cologne, main evented by the Shortcut to the Top rumble for a shot at the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship. The show also saw Jurn Simmons defend said championship against The Avalanche, as well as a host of other matches.

Westside Xtreme Wrestling
Shortcut to the Top
July 1, 2017
Live Music Hall
Cologne, Germany

Watch: wXw Now

Adam Polak and Rico Bushido are the men on duty at the English commentary table.

wXw Shotgun Championship
David Starr def. Angelico & Emil Sitoci

This did a good job in the opener spot. They kept the pace pretty brisk, everybody got to showcase their crisp offense and the crowd was well into it. If there’s one criticism that can be leveled at the match it would be that the finish felt very abrupt and came at a point just when it felt the match was about to kick it up into another gear. Starr regained the Shotgun Championship from Angelico with the Product Placement bridging arm-trap German suplex. ***1/4

Matt Riddle def. Marius Al-Ani

This was suppossed to be Drugunov against Riddle but the Russian had to pull out and hot prospect Al-Ani was drafted in as his replacement.

I loved this match. It was far removed from your typical high workrate indie match-up, they kept things simple and almost minimalist, making everything count and every move look great. It was stiff and it was brutal. Al-Ani looked fantastic in able to hang in there with Riddle in a striking and throws battle, looking his near equal but not quite ready yet. His dive over the top turnbuckle to the outside was a magnificent spot, throwing his body in such an impactful way that immediately drew parralels in my head to the way Biff Busick/Oney Lorcan dives.

An excellent match, and if more people saw it I could easily see it being viewed as a breakout singles match years down the line from here. Al-Ani has it guys, get on the hype train now, because I can’t imagine it being too long before he’s right in the mix at the top of the wXw card. Riddle came out victorious after Al-Ani just couldn’t battle out of the Bromission any more. ****

Handicap No DQ Match
Kim Ray def. CMJ & WALTER

This was a story tool more than an actual match. It was the match where WALTER finally got sick of CMJ’s shit, turning him face so he can feud with the new heel group RISE, and left the boss to a beating. Kim Ray isn’t particularly good, and CMJ’s in ring act is pretty hokey. This was the culmination of a story, with CMJ finally getting his comeuppance, and while I didn’t think it was particularly good I’m glad we can move on from here. The Ringkampf story peaked at 16 Carat, and since that the focus have been all of CMJ and it has been pretty one note. 3/4*

Next up Melanie Gray came out to announce that wXw would be crowing their first ever Women’s champion in a four woman round robin style tournament that would be spread out throughout the later months of the year. Interestingly enough this tournament is completely separate to the Femmes Fatales tournament that they will be running over World Tag Team League weekend, despite the championship tournament set to be mid swing by the time that occurs.

This brought out Jinny, and after a war of words things descended into a really well worked brawl. Gray’s strikes during this looked particularly great. Gray got the upper hand with a bodyslam, but when she went up top to hit an emphatic move Jinny rolled out of the ring and retreated to the back.

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship
Jurn Simmons def. The Avalanche

Both these guys have great matches in them; they’re both very good at what they do. However, both guys do their best work when matched up with an opponent who can bring a high level of dynamism to the table, and this struggled because of that. They went with the old unstoppable force against immovable object structure, and while it was good to a point it never really ascended past a certain level. It was all very simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but after trading power moves for a while the match didn’t really escalate anywhere from there. This was a fine title match for its placement, but had it been a main event it would have disappointed. Simmons retained after hitting his signature piledriver. ***1/2

Bad Bones wins the Shortcut to the Top Rumble

Rumble matches are notoriously hard to review, but here goes I guess. The opening two guys were Starr and Bones, and they got the spotlight for the majority of the early portion of the match which aside from them featured a bunch of lower card guys. Before too long though Bones suffered a knee injury, and was taken out on a stretcher but NOT eliminated. Ten points to the person who can guess what’ll happen there then…

There were a lot of PROGRESS guys spotted throughout this match due to PROGRESS hosting a show in Germany earlier in the day. None of them really got any featuring though, they all came in, hit a few moves then were quickly eliminated. The guys that did get most of the focus in this match were WALTER, Starr, Bones, Absolute Andy, Al-Ani, Angelico and the two RISE members Bouncer and Kiev.

The final three, or so it appeared, ended up being the Bouncer, Kiev and Starr, but then (to the suprise of nobody) Bones came back out to level up the odds in the wXw against RISE showdown. However, this was all a ruse, and Bones eliminated Starr, revealed the knee injury to all be a hoax and then revealed a RISE shirt revealing himself as the leader as his stablemates climbed over the top rope and dropped down to the floor.

This wasn’t a very good rumble match. There was a lot of awkwardness, huge swathes of filler and not many in-ring ‘cool moments’ that you can take away in the vein of WWE’s yearly Kofi-spot. However, its purpose was to set Bad Bones up as the new top heel in the promotion, and in that it did a pretty good job. Bones has been good for a long time, but this heel turn will do him wonders as his character had been quite stale for a while. Plus Rise were really lacking a great wrestler to be the focal point of the group, and Bones offers that.

Final Thoughts:

Shortcut to the Top was a solid show to finish off wXw’s We Love Wrestling tour. It saw the conclusion of the company’s main storyline from the past year, a significant development in the new big story, a title change and Riddle and Al-Ani putting on a fantastic match. There where moments when the show dragged sure, especially during the eponymous match, but overall a thumbs up show.