We’re in Oberhausen at the world-famous Turbinenhalle for wXw’s 17th Anniversary Show. Soon wXw will be leaving home, getting a real job and probably writing off a Corsa trying to impress his friends doing donuts on Aldi car park. It only seems like yesterday that little wXw was learning to crawl and now he’s all grown up. It’s birthday present is a brand new Women’s Championship. Karsten Beck is going into the Hall of Fame and Massive Product Explode! Plus Bobby Gunns has a Shotgun title match and Dragunov is coming for the wXw Unified Championship. It’s all happening!

westside Xtreme wrestling
17th Anniversary Show
December 23, 2017
Oberhausen, Germany

Watch: wXw Now

Hosts on commentary are Rico Bushida and Emil Sitoci. In the background Marius Al Ani is getting appreciation from the crowd. He’s just wrestled Pete Dunne. Pete isn’t allowed on VOD. Ani calls out Absolute Andy, who’s up on the press gantry. They’ve been smart in keeping Ani and Andy apart and they do another good job here in having Andy show his physical dominance before security breaks it up. Albeit after Andy has decked Al-Ani with chair and hit one of the ring crew with an F5 and oh god, the crowd love him for it.

Monster Consulting def. Jay-FK

Monster Consulting is what’s left of Cerberus. The match is all about Avalanche and how Jay-FK have nothing to unsettle the big man. By putting Avalanche in a tag team wXw is able to book him as a devastating monster without other teams being completely dismantled. Nero plays the ‘monster in peril’ role better than almost any in-ring role he’s ever had. Avalanche does sometimes get knocked off his feet but it’s built to. It’s a logical progression of spots that take him down. Kaspin has to throw himself at Avalanche to get anywhere. Meanwhile Nero gets pasted and is saved from defeat several times. Avalanche bosses the match. His ripcord Rainmaker finishes Kaspin. **1/2

David Starr def. Jurn Simmons

This came about because of Massive Product failing to win the tag league. Starr tapped out in that match and it’s led to series of misunderstandings and real life getting in the way of the tag team. So they’re going to fight about it and see how they feel about each other afterwards.

It starts cordially enough with a handshake but quickly escalates as Jurn overpowers Starr and David takes it personally. When Starr lands a chop, it similarity irks Jurn. It continues in a similar vein with both guys getting more irritated with the other’s behaviour and tactics. Jurn comes out of this looking like the bigger jerk because he comes across like a bully, he’s very aggressive and Starr puts a lot of snap on his bumps to get over that power of Simmons.

Starr taking an absolute shellacking is reminiscent of the beating he took from WALTER as Jurn steps up to become another monster dude in this company. He’s always had size but when he combines that with speed and impact: wow. The difference between this and WALTER is that Starr is allowed to beat Jurn. It’s fine as part of their storyline. Jurn doesn’t have to win, and indeed hasn’t won very much since losing the wXw title. Starr, having lost all the big matches he’s been involved in recently needed a win. It was hard fought. Massive Product hug after the match. They got the fighting out of their system…until Jurn punts Starr in the groin and whacks him with a kendo stick. I did not see that coming. On paper it’s a heel turn but Jurn has always been a selfish jerk. He’s just been getting along with Starr for his own selfish ends; namely winning tag league and that didn’t happen. ***3/4

Video Control gives us the latest entries into 16 Carat: Avalanche and Jonah Rock. The second one is a huge shock. wXw pulling out all the stops for what promises to be a killer tournament.

wXw World Tag Team Championships
Ringkampf (Thatcher & WALTER) def. Young Lions

The Young Lions were the previous champions back before World Tag League but that feels like an eternity ago. RISE losing the tag titles felt like the beginning of the end for the RISE angle so having them win the belts back here would be completely weird. Especially with the emotional punch of Thatcher winning his first wXw gold. However they never actually beat the Lions during the tournament, so you can argue the case of the Young Lions getting a title rematch. The champions are much larger so it doesn’t have a traditional heel/face alignment. In fact it has reverse heat with Ringkampf dominating. WALTER in particular, delivering that devastating offence that made 2017 such a special year for him. The challengers have to break the rules, bringing an assortment of illegal business and double teaming. Tarkan Aslan really doesn’t possess the timing to get the job done but Thatcher does excellent work in making it believable. Aslan looks even more out of position when facing WALTER, although the destruction of the Young Lions is peak WALTER. He is the Destroyer. Young Lions can’t live with him and the Gojira Clutch finishes. This was a procession of violence, sandwiching minor heat on Thatcher. Good stuff but an extended squash. ***1/4

wXw Women’s Championship Tournament Final
Killer Kelly def. Melanie Gray

This is the tournament final, which is weird because the whole storyline was Melanie against Jinny yet poor Jinny is nowhere to be seen. Logically she’ll challenge the winner. Melanie has slipped heel during the course of the tournament and neutral authority figure Christian Jakobi puts her firmly in her place before the match. Kelly has actually been around for 6-7 years, so we were harsh on her during our reviews of Tag League suggesting she was totally inexperienced. However the difference between wrestling in Portugal and wXw is significant. She only started in wXw this year. She’s virtually a rookie and is learning hand over fist. Gray figures this is a cake walk and doesn’t take Kelly seriously at all. It’s a complete turn on her fan-friendly babyface attitude when the tournament started. Gray continues to be overconfident and gets rolled up for the shock loss. This was totally unexpected. Kelly wasn’t even in the original line up and Melanie felt destined to become the first champion from the moment they had her as the spokesperson for the tournament! There wasn’t much happening in the match but wXw have themselves a women’s champion. Progress continues. **1/4

Video Control gives us clips from Karsten Beck’s career. Beck started out as a joke character but moved on to the main events and dominated the wXw Unified Championship scene for two years. He eventually retired due to a brain tumour. He did make a brief comeback, winning Shortcut to the Top but was sidelined immediately afterwards returning as commissioner after surgery. The ceremony itself is all in German with no subtitles, which is a rarity for wXw.

wXw Shotgun Championship
Bobby Gunns def. Ivan Kiev

This is a weird match because Kiev is a heel, as part of the companies biggest heel stable, and Gunns is a heel who would probably be in that stable if he gave a shit about anyone other than himself. The result is a near silent Turbinenhalle. Kiev has shown improvement during his Shotgun title run but his timing still isn’t too good. Everything he hits has this intake of breath beforehand as he sets himself. Like a shuffling of the feet or looking to see where he’s going; it’s all so inorganic. He telegraphs so much of his stuff before it happens. The only difference is the actual fluidity of the move execution has gotten better. Once he’s in place it looks fine but he’s never in place. Bobby had similar issues about a year ago but he’s gotten significantly better at trusting himself and his opponents. Kiev doesn’t trust himself or anyone else and it shows. The match doesn’t make any sense either as none of RISE bother to help Kiev out, leaving him to rot and get armbarred out of the title. So Bobby Gunns has the strap and RISE lose yet another belt as momentum fades on their push. He’s definitely below that Shotgun level though so no complaints in him losing. **1/2

No Holds Barred wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship
Bad Bones John Klinger def. Ilja Dragunov

This is logically the conclusion of the RISE angle, to a degree, and the pursuit of gold for Ilja Dragunov, which has lasted most of 2017. Ilja brings his usual explosive offence until Klinger chair shots him in the face during a tope. I’ve seen that spot done many times and this was super safe but Ilja blades in the aftermath. He is not careful and taps an artery, pissing blood all over the ring. We’re heading into Muta-Hase Scale inside seconds. The blonde guys always bleed the best, the visual of blonde hair turned red is a winner.

Bones’ tactics have been perfect though. He took Ilja out early and has piled on the misery ever since. He’s not even looked for pins because it’s all about destroying Ilja so he doesn’t come back again. He’s retained against him using devious means several times. Dragunov has to mount a comeback or it’s just a procession of abuse but given his injuries, they’re able to limit the comebacks and make Bones look like a beast. It’s Ilja’s comebacks that make Klinger more desperate though. So instead of the demolition he starts looking for pins to ensure he gets out with the belt, his original plan of just killing Dragunov so he never comes back unrealised.

As Bones gets tired too it becomes a war with both guys landing heavy hits. Klinger essentially wore himself out beating Ilja up. Both guys do excellent visual work with their positioning and posing. They make it all seem more important. There is less of a rush and it allows you to breath the match in. It is startlingly violent so it needs those pauses. Ilja gets crushed with a Conchairto and then staggers to his feet with Klinger looking on in total disbelief. As Ilja tries to get back at Klinger he is utterly destroyed with the Shadow Driver, taking a vicious bump in the process, and Bones retains. This was a crushing disappointment when I heard about it but the match makes perfect sense. Klinger destroyed Ilja here, took our hero apart and left him bloody and beaten. Ilja has an out because he lost so much blood and took such brutal moves in the process. ****

Post Match a bloody Ilja looks totally lost. This was his last shot at glory and he came up short, whether he has excuses or not he’s failed to unseat Bad Bones for a third time.

Final Thoughts:

This wasn’t perhaps the blowaway show we were expecting from the 17th Anniversary Show but two matches did really stand out. Bones-Dragunov for a violent temporary conclusion to their feud and Starr-Simmons for an entertaining beginning of theirs. It’s also notable for RISE losing their grasp on the bulk of their gold and Killer Kelly becoming the first ever wXw Women’s Champion. It’s a decent show.