I’m Alex, 20 years old and from Germany. I’m a big fan of Wrestling With Words and always wanted to write a piece about wrestling but didn’t get the chance or the right platform. Recently, Westside Xtreme Wrestling got a lot of exposure all over the internet – and deservedly so. German wrestling isn’t just wXw though.
Last Saturday I attended my first two non-wXw wrestling events. These events were part of something called “Catch & Kultur”. It was some kind of a wrestling festival with wrestling events of course, but also a show for children, a lecture by wXw legend Thumbtack Jack, flea market, etc.
When we arrived at the venue there wasn’t much going on. They were still waiting for the wXw guys over at the feature event in Frankfurt (Catch & Kultur happened in Marburg which is like one hour away). By they, I mean the guys behind German Stampede Wrestling. GSW started in 2001, it was a very small promotion, but started to expand over the course of time booking guys like Mick Foley, AJ Styles, Steve Corino or Samoa Joe. GSW was also the first promotion to bring television to Germany by creating their TV show “Courage”. Great idea, but it flopped. Some folks say that founder and matchmaker Ingo Vollenberg is the Paul Heyman of Germany, great ideas, but no financial income. Therefore, wXw took over GSW resulting in a big storyline. In the end, Team Vollenberg beat Team Jakobi in a big 10 man tag team match and got GSW back, but they aren’t doing shows frequently anymore. If you want to know more about GSW just look at their Cagematch profile.
We were still waiting.
Finally, they opened the door and we got to see a great venue. A lot of history I don’t really know of though, great acoustics and a screen. It’s great that even the smallest promotion are putting so much effort into their shows (graphics, entrance videos, etc).
So… let’s get things started. The first show was a live episode of “Courage”. GSW announced that they would bring the first ever wrestling theatre to Marburg. I’m pretty sure they didn’t plan to do it this way because there wasn’t much theatre, but I didn’t care, I wanted to have fun.
They dimmed the lights and put the spotlight on two folks in the crowd who were part of the theatre. One thought she was at the theatre, but in fact, she was at the wrestling, or wasn’t she? There was live commentary too, so we got a lot of banter. Rappers performed the official theme song of “Courage”.
First off it’s Orlando Silver vs. Kris Jokic in a GSW Breakthrough title match. It’s a very fun back and forth contest with a lot of armdrags and pinning attempts. Nothing really special, but still very solid. Five or six minutes into the match both wanted to show the Three Amigos, but after all Silver is the one to deliver it. Highlight of the match is clearly a picture perfect Yoshi Tonic by Silver, but only for a nearfall. Jokic wanted to fight to back, but Silver finishes him with a Sitout Swinging Side Slam. Orlando Silver is still the GSW Breakthrough champion.
Next it’s “Best in the World” Dirty Dragan & Young Money Chong vs. Senza Volto & The Rotation. There isn’t much to cover. Match ends before it starts because Dirty Dragan kicks Rotation below the belt. Rico Bushido told us at 16 Carat Cold that Dragan is a bully and Rotation wanted to beat the shit out of him. So, storytelling I guess. Afterwards Dragan grabs the mic. “You know who I am, but you don’t know why I’m here.” He demands a title shot. Matchcard was already planned, so he decided to challenge the GSW Ladies Champion. He wants Pollyanna!!! Ingo books Dragan vs. Pollyanna, Dragan could win the title by count out, but Jamie Hayter and Whisper enter the arena with kendo sticks. Jamie challenges Dirty Dragan & Young Money Chong. Slammerella enters the arena as well for her match against Jamie Hayter. Dirty Dragan on commentary, oh my god this guy!!! BOOK HIM EVERYWHERE! Match isn’t going anywhere because of the banter by Dirty Dragan. So at Night in Motion later this evening it’s Jamie Hayter, Slammerella & Whisper vs. Dirty Dragan, Young Money Chong & EMIL SITOCI!
We get a GSW Breakthrough title #1 contender’s battle royal with a lot of geeks. I don’t know any of these men. Some neanderthal wins. I don’t care.
It’s time for the main event. Chris Colen finally wants to win the GSW World Heavyweight title. He was booked very strong going into this. Unfortunately, Crazy Sexy Mike couldn’t be here, so he had to vacate the title. Colen would face Ivan Kiev who had some pretty solid matches over at wXw. Strong effort by all involved. Sloppy, but in a good way because it displayed intensity. They brawl outside the ring, Colen even uses a balcony to dropkick Kiev. Back in the ring they hit some nearfalls. Referee goes down, Kiev hits Colen with the title, but only for a nearfall! Colen fights back and finally performs the Double Underhook Facebuster for the 1… 2… 3! He’s the NEW GSW World Heavyweight Champion!
He’s overwhelmed, grabs the mic and pours out his heart. He’s a little bit sad that there weren’t more fans at the show, but he didn’t really care, just like I didn’t. He’s so happy to be the GSW champion. If this match pops up somewhere, watch it. (***1/2)
Most fun I ever had at a wrestling event! Mostly thanks to Dirty Dragan.
Ingo Vollenberg announces that for the first time ever a German wrestling show will be streamed live. I shared the link, but I don’t know how many people ended up watching it. Maybe the show will pop up on YouTube someday. We leave, eat, crush some beers and wait. In old German wrestling tradition the show doesn’t start on time, but who cares. wXw maybe? Apropos, those Frankfurt guys finally arrived.
We start show #2 with A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius Al-Ani) against some random guys I don’t know. It’s an open challenge by the wXw World Tag Team champions. They squash their opponents. F5… Sharpshooter… it’s done! Afterwards German wrestling legend Christian Eckstein & Orlando Silver enter the arena to challenge A4 to another match. At first there are a lot of shenanigans, but it gets serious in the course of time. Very fun match, but A4 don’t go 100% and they don’t need to because they’re fucking great. Christian Eckstein actually pins Al-Ani after a Tombstone Piledriver! I’m very upset.
Next up it’s Angelico vs. Ivan Kiev vs. Jake McCluskey vs. Senza Volto and the winner gets a titleshot against Chris Colen. Finally Senza Volto gets to showcase his talent. If the WWE ever decides to do another Cruiserweight Classic, he certainly could be one of the guys to represent France. Anyway, back to the match. Crowd of roughly 100 fans is on fire and my god, what a match. So many spots, so much fun. McCluskey frog splashes from the top rope to the outside through a table and Angelico does a double foot stomp from the bar through a table. There’s so much going on. Eventually Ivan Kiev wins via the Michinoku Driver. Wow! (****)
Now it’s time for Jurn Simmons vs. Michael Kovac. For those who don’t know Michael Kovac, he’s THE Guy. 23 years of in ring experience, training guys like WALTER and now going against the Massive One. If Jurn doesn’t end up in NXT within the next 1 ½ years I’ll be very mad. This man oozes charisma. (Editor’s note: He was recently at the U.K. tryouts, so there’s hope!) He’s got the perfect look. He wrestles in front of 100 people like he’s a God. Another solid match, Jurn does a lot of heel work, applies chinlocks and insults the crowd. He defeats Kovac with his Piledriver and I’m the only person to go crazy about it. What a weird world.
Dirty Dragan, Emil Sitoci & Young Money Chong vs. Jamie Hayter, Slammerella & Whisper: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? I can’t put this match into words. You had to see it to believe it. Don’t get me wrong, wrestling wise it wasn’t great, but I had so much fun. The interaction, the shenanigans and of course Dirty Dragan. I fell in love with this guy. Still, I don’t know how to describe this match. Feel free to check out my Twitter account to relive this match. Eventually the women beat down Chong and Dragan with Kendo Sticks, but Sitoci drives Hayter into the mat with the Corkscrew Piledriver. This was so much fun!
It’s 1 am or so and finally time for the main event: Hot & Spicy (Axel Dieter Jr. & Da Mack) vs. Chris Colen & Matt Cross. Axel’s coach Christian Eckstein is the special referee and the match is scheduled for the EWP Tag Team Championship. It’s so great to see the entrance by Hot & Spicy one more time. We’re in for a long match. Very sportsmanship like. Incredibly smooth. It’s not great, but I love every minute about it because it has something very special about it. Axel Dieter Jr. is having the time of his life. Me too. The finish is a little bit anticlimactic because Colen pins Dieter with a school boy. I’m upset because I would’ve love to see them wrestle for another 20 minutes. (****)
This is what wrestling is all about. Entertainment. Wrestlers going out there and putting on a great show despite a small crowd or issues in the back. Fans going to those shows and just having the time of their lifes. We should all do it. Don’t criticizes everything and anything – this is not what wrestling is all about. It’s about athleticism, entertainment and FUN. I had so much fun and you know who else had a lot of fun? AXEL DIETER JUNIOR! What a guy. After the match he grabs the mic and says “Thank you!”. It’s a very emotional moment also involving alcohol, but let’s not talk about this. It’s crazy to think I was there for almost all of Axel’s big moments. The first time I got to see him was back at 16 Carat Gold 2014 and his match with Da Mack versus Ricochet & Rich Swann was about one thing – Fun. 16 Carat Gold 2015 finally put him on the map as a singles wrestler. He had great matches against Timothy Thatcher, Marty Scurll and Tommy End reaching the finals of the tourney but coming short. Afterwards End said that Dieter would be the future of wXw and he indeed was. Axel’s run at 16 Carat Cold 2016 was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed thanks to the fans in the crowd. I didn’t agree with them back then, but it created an atmosphere I’ll never forget and possibly never experience again. It was so loud! At 16 Carat Cold 2017 he lost to Jurn Simmons. Two months ago I didn’t thought about his future, but it all makes sense now. He’ll do great in the United States. I’m very sure of that. THANK YOU, AXEL DIETER JUNIOR!
I Love Wrestling!