wXw We Love Wrestling Tour: Frankfurt on April 29, 2017
Batschkapp – Frankfurt, Germany
As part of Axel Dieter Jr’s farewell, the We Love Wrestling Tour made its stop in Frankfurt pitting ADJ vs. WALTER in the main event, in what will be Dieter’s last singles main event match in the promotion….for now.
The opener ended up being the second longest match of the night, between A4 of Absolute Andy and Marius Al-Ani and the team of Bobby Gunns and Jaxon Stone. This was a great way to kick off the card, with it pumping into gear mere seconds in with Andy hitting an F5. A4 are the best tag team in the world at showing vulnerability — they work like a well-oiled machine, but that doesn’t mean everybody is perfect/they couldn’t drop the tag belts at any given show. This is where the young and impressive duo of Gunns-Stone come into play. They worked well as rock solid heels, with ‘The King of Smoke Style’ putting out his cigarette on Ani’s back and Stone working hard yet again to impress. In an unexpected twist Gunns brought out a catching triangle, which makes sense given his background, but something that was so out of the blue it popped me extra hard. The A4 drop was hit on Stone for the victory. Check this out.
Francis Kaspin continues to grow exponentially well as a performer, this time taking on Da Mack. The match kept a gradual, enjoyable pace, but never picked up until Bobby Gunns came back out, who has a beef with Mack currently. This led to near falls with Mack being distracted on the side. Kaspin survived Mack Magic out of nowhere thanks to Gunns, which led to Kaspin pinning Mack after a springboard bulldog. I don’t have any complaints about the match and the booking. Solid mid card addition to advance a fun lower-tier storyline.
The grudge feud continues as three Cerberus folk gather around the campfire of violence: Ilja Dragunov vs. Avalanche with Julian Nero as the special guest referee. This could pass as the feud-ender in a work standpoint, as the two worked well as always — adding extra oomph to the match with Avalanche rolling out of the ring after taking a Torpedo Moskau, and Dragunov kicking out of the Blue Thunder Bomb. There was a gradual increase of Nero getting more and more involved, such as touching someone when he shouldn’t have (the domino effect…), then getting angrier within a short timeframe. This led to him blowing up, with Dragunov and Avalanche working together to throw him out of the ring. This led to Nero calling for the bell. Chaos continues seemingly forever in this Cerberus story. The teases with bigger, better matches continue.
I’ll update this when someone more enlightened helps me explain, or when the English version drops. All you need to know right now is that Karsten Beck and CMJ continued their war of words in the ring, and Kim Ray dropped CMJ as the faces celebrated.
In a Battle of Champions match, wXw World Unified Wrestling Champion, Jurn Simmons, faced the wXw Shotgun Champion, Emil Sitoci. These two combined for a wonderful dynamic, one that jumped off the page as a natural fit. With these two, character work/acting/charisma is their strong suit, followed by in-ring that is always improving — but is never “bad”. Jurn would survive everything Emil threw at him, and the two would do little things to make the match mean more, such as perfectly execute a jackknife cradle, or give the match a type of pace a Jurn title defense would have. Some awesome highlights included Jurn hitting a doctor bomb for a near fall, and Emil having to hit a sliced bread off the top because he couldn’t do it on the ground. Jurn kicking out of the snapmare driver led to Emil hitting a top rope Spanish fly(!!!!) for the victory. I’m stoked for the impending Jurn title defense vs. Sitoci.
Melanie Gray faced Sierra Loxton in what was a short, enjoyable match. I ate up the dynamic of Melanie having to fight from under (though sometimes the punches look off and she should tweak her comeback) against Loxton who comes off as Alexa Bliss’s big sister from Germany. That’s nowhere near negative. She would use a lot of ass based offense, so maybe she would be BFF’s with Taguchi or Koshinaka or Toni Storm. Who knows?! In the end, Melanie came back in the blink of an eye to hit a Swanton Bomb then lock in the sharpshooter for the win. I hope to see a lot more of Loxton in the future, she’s already looking good in her role.
In a surprising mini-banger, Angelico took on CZW’s own, Alexander James. James recently talked about Dieter Jr. helping him bridge the awkwardness gap during his excursion, and how he feels as if wXw is home already. You can start to see that watching his matches now. James is already leaps and bounds better/more confident than when he started. I’ve recently kept him on my radar, but performances like this make me want to actively seek out James’ matches. Whether it was the start-out grappling between the two, Angelico working better in singles than tags (and also in small room settings), or the generally well put together 13 minutes, this rocked. Angelico survived the slingshot cutter in the corner as well as a choke, to rock James’ with a few knees out of nowhere, and to eventually hit Fall of the Angels for the victory.
Make sure to watch the video package put together for this match. It’ll go down as one of the better ones this year. If you hadn’t already figured it out, it’s the main event between Axel Dieter Jr. and WALTER. This was a very good match, one that felt odd. It felt weird to think that I’ve only been following wXw since 2015-2016, and it never crossed my mind that Axel would be leaving so soon. I didn’t even guess it’d be to NXT (he’d be leaving permanently) when they announced the farewell loop for him. But a lot of people, including me, that don’t even know him personally, feel a sense of pride. The match itself was built extremely well with WALTER targeting the leg of Axel, Axel avoiding the sleeper at all costs every time out, with little wrinkles thrown in constantly because the two know each other so well — this lent itself to slick grappling and sequences. The drama was added with the additions of the ankle lock of WALTER/Senior Special of Axel’s being traded back and forth in the story. The finish was perfect with Axel doing an O’Connor roll like we were going to go 10 more minutes but this was desperate, only for WALTER to finally lock in the inescapable sleeper for the victory. The post-match imagery was incredible with both spent on the mat, with Axel bleeding a tad bit.
I’m waiting for the English version to drop to give articulated thoughts, but what a speech from Axel post-match. Before it, we got a lovable moment with WALTER and Axel embracing, hugging, exchanging some words. In my favorite moment, WALTER pointed at the blood on Axel’s chest, poking fun at it because he had some on him too. Such a Ringkampf type of interaction. WALTER walked out so Axel could have the floor. It was emotional regardless of a language barrier, seeing all the fans crowd the ring and pound on it in wXw fashion. He was able to cut one of his final promos in the promotion, coming to tears at one point hanging out on the ropes. Thank you, Dieter! Die Matte ist heilig.
WXW WE LOVE WRESTLING TOUR: FRANKFURT ON APRIL 29, 2017
Good - 7.5/10
I'm feeling a good on wXw We Love Wrestling Tour in Frankfurt. Not only will this be memorable for the Axel/WALTER final match, but it had tons of variety and advanced angles very well for the company. We got a great tag title defense in the opener, the next two matches saw good wrestling with storytelling in the ring/post-match, Sitoci-Simmons and Angelico-James both rocked, plus Gray-Loxton was a nice touch on the show that was harmless. Not a single bad match on the show. Storytelling on nearly every match. The emotional last 40 minutes or so. wXw kills it again.