wXw Shotgun #297 airing on March 21, 2017
An excellent video package plays, recapping Ilja Dragunov’s road to his win of 16 Carat Gold.
Ilja was continually soaking in the sucess backstage, when Julian Nero popped into the frame. He told Ilja that he’s lived up to his full potential as he’s broke free from the Devil himself, Adam Polak. Drangunov, still unhinged and dazed, explained that his parent (Polak) never took failure as an answer. “Failed father figure” Polak is out of his life, and for the first time in his life, he feels freedom. Nero will be there if Ilja needs anything. Really good segment to set in stone both’s paths away from Cerberus and providing a common enemy in Polak.
An M/V Dragunov vs. Dreissker from 16 Carat aired, showing Avalanche in defeat, turning on Polak. Post-match footage sees Avalanche wrecking havoc on crew/trainees backstage when Karsten Beck enters. Avalanche NEEDS Ilja in Dresen or else. At True Colors the two will meet in a grudge match.
Francis Kaspin vs. Veit MüllerFebruary 24 in Hamburg
Müller is representing the Nordish Fight Club, the same training center that has bred Axel Dieter Jr. and Da Mack, among others. This was a strong warm-up match for what was then the Dead End pre-show. Kaspin did a good job feeding to Veit, as Veit imposed his strength and skill on the mat. It was an entertaining “young lion”-ish school showcase match. Veit applied a wicked cravate and wouldn’t let go, hitting knees from the position! Another thing to like about wXw’s production is that there are now replays on Shotgun. Not sure when it was implemented, but this is my first time seeing them. The keys to Kaspin’s comebacks were his dropkicks, as that would provide Müller’s downfall. After a huge dropkick and springboard bulldog, your victor is Francis Kaspin.
A M/V of Marius van Beethoven vs. Alpha Kevin from 16 Carat Day Three aired, with an additional segment. Kevin got a new necklace for Melanie as a gift of love. He hasn’t been there for her the way he should have been in the past, but after finally eliminating Marius, they can go on to live happy lives once again. They made out in the background, only for Bobby Gunns to hijack the camera, blowing smoke into it; positioned in front of the couple. Amazing foreshadowing for what’s to come, and a picture perfect way to implement Gunns into the show.
We take an in-depth look at the Karsten Beck/babyfaces vs. Ringkampf segment at 16 Carat. This is the translated Kim Ray return, and promo, I’ve been meaning to check out. He talked about leaving wXw and wrestling in general, due to CMJ. It was a revenge promo of sorts, leading to Karsten explaining why he’s back full-time and out of retirement. CMJ is trying to destroy an important mentor of his and others, in Beck. He’s going to assist in hopefully banning CMJ from wXw when all is said and done. This makes more sense now.
Karsten Beck and Kim Ray are backstage, talking each other through troubles. The consensus is that “we’ll get through this together”.
Highlights of Inner Circle aired. Check out our review.
Liverpool’s Number One, Zack Gibson is backstage. He proclaimed that wXw is an absolute circus, proceeding to steal a drink from Sebastian *insert last name I forgot, but he works backstage*. Gibson would continue to rant, even at Felix Kohlenburg who told him to obey by the rules. Chris Colen served as the enforcer, providing the vintage “I’m gonna teach you a lesson around here” promo that always works. That sets up our main event tonight.
Love how wXw literally plugged their outlook for the rest of the year with every tour name and date in the book. If you’re somehow able to see wXw this year, go do it.
Thomas Giesen interviewed Melanie Gray. Melanie feels better and is more relaxed, now that she’s pinned Alpha Female 1-2-3. But the fact remains that Marius van Beethoven ran away in Hamburg. Marius has choked her with a belt in a cage, as well as smearing her blood on his chest; truth be told she’s not done with him yet. She wants him one on one on Shotgun. Challenge come true next.
Melanie Gray vs. Marius van BeethovenMarch 4 in Dusseldorf
This is a historically significant match in the history of wXw, as it’s the first intergender match in 10 years to happen. The match started off brilliantly with Marius being locked in Melodrama right away, tapping out before it was fully applied. An easy day at the job for Marius, only to be made way worse when Alpha Kevin was out to drag him back into the ring. The match built off that spot, with Marius taking a mild approach to violence in the match, being beaten by Melanie. It got to the point where Marius went to attack Kevin but that ended up costing him as well. It kept building on ridiculous elements we’ve come to expect in the feud, like Marius’ dick being grabbed, or eye rakes and punches on Melanie from Marius. We got a ref bump when Melanie fell onto him, as Alpha took a chair, smacking it over Marius’ head. A spinebuster/Melodrama combo got Melanie the win. This was a fun match that was executed well, but isn’t nearly my favorite match these folk have been involved in. Some of the offense was pretty weak looking from both ends, but the character work was top notch, the booking was fun, and it didn’t need to be a ***** classic to fill out its job.
Marius was ripping up his money backstage, when Dirty Dragan entered. “Maybe we can be friends” was the theme of the segment, with a dejected depressed Marius being drug away by Dragan, who promised he’d cheer him up, having the perfect way to do so at his place. Ask questions.
Highlights of Ambition 8 aired. Check out our review.
Karsten Beck caught up with David Starr before he returned to America until June. Karsten thanked Starr for everything, but apologized for the Shotgun Title loss. Starr, when he comes back in June, is going to take that “Wannabe Billy Kidman, Emil Sitoci’s” Shotgun Title back. Good way to build to Starr’s return. I’m going to miss him these next two months.
A M/V of Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Jurn Simmons from 16 Carat Gold Night Two aired.
Thomas Giesen is from Jurn Simmons. It’s now been two 16 Carats in a row that Jurn has walked out new Unified World Wrestling Champion. He doesn’t know what’s next, but he’ll be upholding his previous tradition as champion: being a fighting champ. We get a tease at a Speedball Mike Bailey rematch (the two faced off at World Tag League in a fantastic match), as that looks to be shaping up to be the title match at True Colors. “We all know what flies are attracted to…” was a highlight as Jurn slammed into CMJ, referring to him as a fly the entire time.
Axel Dieter Jr. will be interviewed next week.
Jurn Simmons ran into Karsten Beck backstage. “I got the title back bro!” Karsten is over the moon for Jurn, but is still shook on a psychological level after what happened to him at Carat. Jurn thinks that Karsten should find a fitting way to punish CMJ. End scene.
Chris Colen vs. Zack GibsonMarch 4 in Dusseldorf
This was a showcase match with stakes, in the sense that the winner could theoretically impress the opposing management (wXw vs. PROGRESS) and gain notoriety on the July 1 crossover card in Germany, or among other additional bookings. Aka the winner reaps benefits. This was a fun big man vs. technical dynamic, as Colen is proven to be able to work a multitude of styles. Gibson was great technically (color me shocked), working over Colen in multiple ways, like crushing his arm into the ring post. Colen then sold from under well, not being able to fully dominate. My favorite part of the match came when Gibson tripped up Colen who was on the ropes, then hitting an elbow/codebreaker combination for a near fall. The comeback came at a blink of an eye, and the next thing you knew, after a double underhook suplex, Chris Colen is your victor. The match was fairly short, but was a solid Shotgun main event, made even better by Alan’s great commentary. Liverpool’s Number One will need to eat his words this week.
wXw SHOTGUN #297 AIRING ON MARCH 21, 2017
Decent - 6.5/10
A decent hour of Shotgun this week saw huge emphasis on character work and storylines post-Carat, which was the hook for the show. We also got three solid matches in Kaspin/Veit, the always entertaining Gray/Marius dynamic, and Liverpool's Number One/The Underrated as Heck, Colen. Shoutout to Bobby Gunns for being the best.