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Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:28 am
by Frank Olson
So I know I'm posting about this a full month after the shows took place, but I finally watched this year's 16 Carat tournament this weekend and here are my ice-cold takes...

Overall I thought this year's tournament topped 2016 and 2017. There really wasn't any dead weight in the field, outside of maybe Da Mack (who was eliminated from the tournament in less than 10 seconds). I do find the CCK guys a little dry as singles competitors, and Alexander James' "Prince of Pro" gimmick seems like a work in progress, but overall I thought that everybody in the tournament played their role well and all of the matches were solid at worst. In the past there have been elements of WXW that have seemed a little too shindie (mid-match dance contests, booking people like the Spirit Squad) or too sports entertainment (evil authority figures, overuse of gimmick matches), but I thought that everything from this year's tournament felt like part of a unified competition-based presentation.

I really like Absolute Andy's current role as the bitter veteran who has to take shortcuts because deep down he knows he's not good enough to hang with the younger talent. Heel antics can get annoyingly tropey, but I thought that he worked his cheating into the matches in ways that helped the stories being told without hurting the quality of the in-ring. His Night 1 match with Marius Al-Ani was especially good in that regard. I also absolutely loved the booking of Andy and Matt Riddle's Night 2 match, which brilliantly played off of the endings of each man's Night 1 match (Riddle with the immediate knockout and Andy with his foot on the ropes). Great stuff.

The non-tournament matches from the 16 Carat shows were mostly pretty great too. Obviously Ilja vs. WALTER vs. Bad Bones was the highlight of the weekend, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Shotgun Title match between Bobby Gunns and Mike Bailey. In past shows I've seen Gunns always seemed like a guy whose amusing character work was there to disguise his lack of in-ring ability, but he's evidently really stepped his game up since last year's 16 Carat weekend. That whole sequence involving Bailey's pinky finger being bent out of place was totally disgusting but totally awesome. Between the tournament quarterfinals and the great title matches I'd say that Night 2 is probably the best individual wrestling show I've seen so far this year.

So, what else do I need to watch while I've got my WXW Now subscription this month? All I've really seen are the last few 16 Carat weekends and the 2016 and 2017 Tag Leagues, plus a few stray matches from David Starr's run defending the Shotgun Title on random US indie shows. I plan on watching this year's Ambition and Inner Circle shows at some point, but what else is must see?

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:19 pm
by Kirk D
Ambition from last year and this year is a good choice.

I would recommend:
Wesna vs Toni Storm from Femmes Fatales 2017
Walter vs David Starr from the London show in October 2017
Jurn Simmons vs Alexander James I quit match Hamburg December 2017 (the rest of the show is also higly entertaining)
Jurn Simmons vs David Starr from the 17th Anniversary show (also Bad Bones vs Dragunov from the same show)
Bad Bones vs Mike Bailey for the world title at Dead End 2018

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:55 pm
by Frank Olson
Kirk D wrote:Ambition from last year and this year is a good choice.

I would recommend:
Wesna vs Toni Storm from Femmes Fatales 2017
Walter vs David Starr from the London show in October 2017
Jurn Simmons vs Alexander James I quit match Hamburg December 2017 (the rest of the show is also higly entertaining)
Jurn Simmons vs David Starr from the 17th Anniversary show (also Bad Bones vs Dragunov from the same show)
Bad Bones vs Mike Bailey for the world title at Dead End 2018
Awesome! I'll make sure to check all of these out

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:41 pm
by obliterati
Did we ever find out what's going on with Bad Bones?

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:19 pm
by Kirk D
In wrestling you will always find out some day. The German wording of the official announcement sounds like a typical announcement made after some non amicable separation (at least in German corporate etiquette, indie wrestling may unintentionally use such wording for other purpose). He is taking much more bookings at other promotions in Germany, Switzerland and UK now.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:07 pm
by obliterati
So, I watched 16 Carat on FloSlam last year and enjoyed it but didn't watch anymore wXw until this year's tournament. Because I'm not a complete idiot, I immediately subscribed to the streaming service and I've been loving it. More independent promotions should use their storytelling model and emulate what they do with Shotgun. I do have one thought and one complaint, though, a month or so in: the Shotgun segments are filmed in locations that make me oddly nervous that a porno will break out at any moment, and, MY GOD, the generic music they use over and over on the big shows is annoying as hell.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:25 am
by Kirk D
I cannot agree more with you. The music is a common and justified complaint. wXw have stated that they are working on producing their own entrance themes to avoid copyrights issues, which create a significant financial risk because of the strict music rights enforcement in Germany.

Re shotgun, they actually recently determined a location in Cologne, in which they plan to monthly tape their shotgun matches in the future, which looks decent and most probably allows them to gear up presentation over time.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:26 pm
by obliterati
The matches look fine, it's the backstage segments that look rinky-dink to me. But that's a minor complaint. Absolutely loving the product and storytelling.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:02 am
by Frank Olson
I don't really mind the overdubbed music on most of the WXW shows that I've seen (in fact I kind of like the 16 Carat song), but man, the Eminem knockoff that they used for True Colors is atrocious.

The Ilja vs. Walter match was very good as expected, though I thought it was a definite step down from their 2017 16 Carat final. That's just not the type of bout where you want to see a ref bump and other shenanigans like we got here. I get it that Walter is kind of the "ace" of WXW and they want to protect him, but I don't think he would have lost any credibility by just taking a straight up clean loss to Ilja in this context. It was still a really good match though.

The TLC match between Absolute Andy and Marius Al-Ani was pretty good, though I felt like it went on a bit too long. I have a little trouble getting excited for ladder matches in general these days, as it just feels like the concept is overexposed. I will say though that even though I am a casual WXW viewer (I typically just subscribe to WXW Now around the time of 16 Carat and then around the time of the Tag League) they have managed to hook me with this feud and I do want to see how it resolves. I thought that the whole sequence with Al-Ani's hands being taped together was very well done.

The rest of the show was just okay, with a lot of three-way and four-way matches and some questionable gimmicks from a few of the undercard workers (like the lady who was apparently supposed to be Uma Thurman from "Kill Bill" but also a heel for some reason).

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:06 pm
by Kirk D
I liked the Ilja vs Walter match though I agree with you that the shenanigans did not fit. To be fair, this was their third encounter in 1 month and two weeks after the Walter chop all-star parade that was the mania weekend. There definitely is a certain oversaturation on my side.

Like you, I am not a big ladder match fan as they usually end up being spotfests. This one was actually pretty very well laid out. My problem with this feud is that Andy's promo is (for German ears) too good, while Al Ani's ninja gimmick feels out of place (new ring gear feat: Asian rice farmer hat!!!).

And now I am going to travel to Frankfurt for the weekend: Zack Sabre Jr vs Lucky Kid! The show is sold out.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:58 pm
by obliterati
Yeah, seeing Walter approximately 20 times in 3 days detracted from that match a bit, but Ilja is so damn good and fun to watch right now. The ladder match dragged a bit but I loved Al-Ani climbing the ladder with his hands tied. Honestly, though, I thought Shotgun this week was more exciting than True Colors.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:59 am
by Kirk D
Back from Frankfurt. A good houseshow with a ZSJ comeback to wXw. It was a more casual wXw crowd, left and right of us sat people who never watched wXw before but were stunned by the action. That obviously meant that it was nearly impossible do chants that go beyond repeating the name of a wrestler in rhythmic fashion.

Unfortunately, Dragunov only had a short interaction with Alexander James as he was not cleared to wrestle. He still hat the crowd pop of the night. The newbie next to me asked "What the hell was just going on when this Ilja guy entered?!"

Spot of the evening was a chop by Lucky Kid that slashed like a whip through the building. I mean this is Walter's hometurf so fans are used to chops. Let's see whether they can transmit the sound through wXwnow.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:31 pm
by themib
wXw have announced the venues for the second half of the year...

22/07: Cologne CBE (Shotgun Tapings)
04/08: Oberhausen Turbinenhalle (Shortcut To The Top)
05/08: Cologne CBE (Shotgun Tapings)
31/08: Hamburg Markthalle (wXw x PROGRESS)
01/09: Oberhausen Turbinenhalle (wXw x PROGRESS)
02/09: Frankfurt Batschkapp (wXw x PROGRESS)
09/09: Bielefeld Forum
14/09: Ludwigshafen Burgerhaus Oppau
22/09: Fulda Kuz Kreuz (Shotgun Tapings)
05-07/10: Oberhausen Turbinenhalle (World Tag Team League)
12/10: Hof Burgergesellschaft
13/10: Leipzig Hellraiser
14/10: Erfurt Club From Hell
27/10: Cologne CBE (Shotgun Tapings)
16/11: Gotha Stadthalle
17/11: Dresden Kraftwerk Mitte (Broken Rules)
23/11: Hamburg Markthalle
24/11: Cologne CBE (Shotgun Tapings)
01/12: Neubrandenburg Stadthalle
15/12: Bielefeld Forum
16/12: Cologne CBE (Shotgun Tapings)
22/12: Oberhausen Turbinenhalle (18th Anniversary Show)

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 7:13 pm
by obliterati
I realize there's a lot going on in the wrestling world right now, but Lethal vs. Lucky Kid, Walter vs. Ilja, and ZSJ vs. Starr are all killer matches that nobody is talking about.

Re: wXw - Germany's biggest promotion

Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 6:17 pm
by Lawsoncomedy
obliterati wrote:I realize there's a lot going on in the wrestling world right now, but Lethal vs. Lucky Kid, Walter vs. Ilja, and ZSJ vs. Starr are all killer matches that nobody is talking about.
The 2nd Walter Ilja match was so different than their other matches too. I still gotta see those other ones.