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wXw World Tag Team Festival 2019 recap: A packed weekend of talent

24 hours after the final bell of the tournament, here is an in-depth report on everything that went down over wXw's second biggest weekend of the year with an emphasis on tournaments.

The recently vacated tag team titles were on the line as twelve teams competed for the gold in a three-block single-elimination tournament as was a shot at the wXw's women's championship at the fourth annual all-women Femmes Fatales show. The weekend was rounded out by another AMBITION tournament, a UWF-like shoot-style affair that has been gaining more and more popularity on an international basis, with wXw's AMBITION format and more and more wrestlers enjoying showing off their skills in that type of match adding to the style's resurgence.

There also are a number of scoops, news and announcements in here as I had the ear of wXw's COO Tassilo Jung at a press lunch and there was a panel with Jung, managing director Felix Kohlenberg and art director Dennis Birkendahl, all who contribute to creative as well. The main points from the media center panels and announcements for future shows are at the bottom of this report.

After a string of bad luck that lasted well into the start of the weekend, with cancellations due to injuries, emergencies, ill health and WWE contracted talent being needed for the NXT UK tapings taking place on Friday and Saturday, wXw’s World tag Team Festival kicked off Night 1 strong on Friday, October 4 after a fun and intimate opener, Inner Circle #8 prepared everyone for things to come at the wXw Academy the night before.

Prelude: The World Tag Team Festival Curse

As noted in the recent issue of the Observer, of the total twelve teams originally announced, only six remained in their original form; NXT’s Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, Timothy Thatcher & Veit Müller, wXw regulars The Crown (Alexander James & Jurn Simmons) and The Purge Club (Pete Bouncer & Ivan Kiev; originally announced at RISE, which is no more), EVOLVE’s The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake) as well as The Anti-Fun Police (No Fun Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) out of the UK appeared as scheduled while Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher), WRSTLING (David Starr & Eddie Kingston) and Jay-FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) all had one person each replaced – Mark Davis suffered an ACL injury over PWG’s BOLA weekend and was replaced by Lucky Kid, who now teamed with Kyle Fletcher as ¿Schadenfreude?; Francis Kaspin, nursing a herniated disc was replaced by Absolute Andy, who Jay-FK had associated with in the past and him and Jay Skillet now team as Jay-AA. Then on Wednesday, Eddie Kingston pulled out of the booking due to a family emergency, leaving David Starr without a partner. He chose to team with Norman Harras, a wXw Academy trainee who originally got to shine on Thursday’s Inner Circle show at said wrestling school when, ironically, stepping in as a replacement for Veit Müller (who had to stay home for family reasons as well), he looked like a future star, teaming with Timothy Thatcher to take on the Workhorsemen. Three teams were replaced entirely: The team of Vollgasteren (Julian Pace & Leon van Gasteren) had to pull out after a (storyline) injury to Julian Pace, after he was attacked backstage at the “Road to WTTF” show; they were being replaced by The Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura). Bandido & Flamita were replaced by Violence is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku), after Bandido’s recent knee injury got worse and he had to pull out; Flamita will still wrestle all three days and took on Jonathan Gresham, who was brought in as a bonus addition after all he cancellations. Team White Wolf (A-Kid & Carlos Romo) also originally were announced but were pulled by WWE, who wanted A-Kid, a recent signee, at the NXT UK tapings. They were replaced by Hungarians veterans The Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover).

The string of bad luck didn’t end there though, as Thursday around noon Saraya Knight (the mother of WWE’s Paige) had to pull out of Saturday’s Femmes Fatales women’s tournament due to a stomach bug; she will be replaced by Vicious Vivien, a trainee of the GHW wrestling school. Then, during the Inner Circle show on Thursday, the wXw Academy’s lights went out during Timothy Thatcher’s entrance and never came back on. They shot the rest of the show using studio lights, which made for a cool and unique atmosphere and according to wXw officials, looked very good on camera. And since Murphy's law states that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, a few other things happened along the way, too: a number of crew members had to cancel the weeknd because they were sick; a car crashed into the ring truck on Thursday; the clean up crew for the arena didn't turn up in time for set-up after there was a big music festival in the arena on Wednesday night, forcing the wXw crew to delay their set-up to Friday instead of Thursday; SL-Wrestling, the printing company that produces most of the merchandise for wXw and many of the wrestlers here (think a local version of ProWrestlingTees) had their main production machine fail earlier in the week and needed to pull a 24-hour emergency shift to get everything produced for the weekend in time; Absolute Andy was so banged up that he hardly could walk, but still made it through two matches; Veit Müller has some stressful personal issues going on in his life (I was told about them, but he will adress them on his own soon) and still wrestled a great match in the main event position under a lot of pressure, plus a number of wrestlers also missed trains to get to the show or the airport, but everyone who was still supposed to be here on Fridays made it in time.

All that being said, everybody looked to have something extra to proof and the in-ring work ranged from very good to great for most matches, with young talent stepping up and all the fly-ins being very professional and eager to look good.

Thursday, October 3, 2019, 7 PM - wXw Inner Circle #8 (wXw Academy, attendance: 160/sellout)

Jay Skillet, Rust Taylor & Alexander Dean beat The Rotation & The Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura), after Dean submitted Rotation with a cross face (13:29)

Fun opener with some comedy early on by Skillet. The Bastards were very over with the crowd, foreshadowing a wave of popularity for the team over the rest of the weekend. Skillet, in a kind of smarmy way, put over his partners early on and gave them his beanie hat and sunglasses to wear, over which they did not look all that thrilled. Dean submitted Rotation, told Skillet he'd beat him up if he ever put his sunglasses on him again, then called out Avalanche for a Shotgun title match on Saturday after the match.

Dominic Garrini pinned James Runyan after a pile driver (7:15)

Decent outing by both men with Garrini getting to show off some of his BJJ skills (he's a purple belt right now), in a preview of things to come at the AMBITION Wild Card tournament on Sunday.,

The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake) beat Timothy Thatcher & Norman Harras when Drake pinned Harras after a double underhook swinging neckbreaker (13:11)

The lights went out during Thatcher's entrance and never came back on. Harras came out as his partner, then they took a break, trying to fix the lights to no avail. Thatcher and Harras left and later came back out to David Hasselhoff's "Looking for Freedom", a cheesy smash hit in Germany during the late 80s and the period of German reunification. Thatcher has been using this song at Inner Circle shows for a few years as a kind of inside joke at him becoming a full-fledged German since he lives here for a few months every year.

Great match, with Harras looking very good. He played face in peril but at times came back strong and eventually took the pin for his team. Another fun spot was Thatcher discovering thumbtacks still stuck in Henry's boots from a past match and decided to pull it out and put it in Henry's leg. He no sold it, saying he had lots of tattoos, then stuck it in Thatcher's chest, who also no-sold it to a big pop.

German suplex by Norman Harras on JD Drake

Thatcher stretches Anthony Henry

Leyla Hirsch submitted  Sammii Jayne with cross-arm scissors (6:28)

Good match, with Hirsch, who is only about 4'11" with big, muscular legs looking really good, throwing suplexes and using submissions. She slipped on the ropes on a springboard moonsault attempt, which she pulled off on her second try, and this was pretty much the only thing that went wrong here.

Hirsch comes across like a mini-version of Ronda Rousey at times and has great charisma, facials and demeanor. A trainee of the CZW wrestling school. she's on a training excursion at the wXw Academy right now and has an interesting back story, told in a video produced by wXw, as she is originally from Russia and was adopted into the U.S. at about eight years of age. She picked up amateur wrestling, competed on the boy's team and won the New Jersey girl's state championship. She had her first match only two years ago, is already really good and in my opinion has the potential to become a superstar, as she would probably make both a great babyface or heel with the right tweaks to her character.

Alexander James submitted Daniel Makabe in the Torture Hold (13:35)

This was Makabe's first outing in Germany, after competing in AMBITION 11 in Toronto over the summer. Good match with lots of submissions and both men looking their usual good.

Schadenfreude (Kyle Fletcher & Lucky Kid) beat Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne and Los Federales Santos Jr.)

Great match with tons of comedy spots and good action. Probably best match fo the night along with the Thatcher/Harras/Workhorsemen bout. They did one spot where Santos threatened to shoot Fletcher with his fingers (The "No Funn Gun") and Lucky, believing it was a real gun, coming in for the save, until everyone including the ref calmed him down. Kid and Fletcher showed off some good team action, proofing they'd be just fine for the rest of the tournament.

Friday, October 4, 2019, 8 PM - wXw World Tag Team Festival 2019 - Night 1 (Turbinenhalle 2, attendance: 580)

Before the show started, wXw Director of Sports Karsten Beck greeted the fans and was interrupted by current wXw women's champion, Amale. She complained that she wasn't on the card tonight, which brought out Faye Jackson, who would face Amale for the title on Femmes Fatales on Saturday afternoon. As they talked back and forth, Levaniel came out. Levaniel is a recent wXw Academy graduate and does a character self-described as "The Prince of Stars". He has a look that can be best described as Elvish and is a riot on the mic with a very esoteric, angelic and cosmic choice of words. He wanted to help Amale get rid of "ugly" Faye Jackson, prompting home town good guy Mike Schwarz, the "Fighter from Oberhausen" to enter the ring and even the odds. This set up a mixed tag team match for later on the show.

The 12 teams in the World Tag Team Festival tournament

First Round Match: Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) beat Jay AA (Jay Skillet & Absolute Andy) when Maggot pinned Skillet with a cradle (10:43)

Some comedy early on, as Andy poured some water on the fans during his entrance, then spotted a fan with a bottle of Fanta from the ring and had it taken away. Chants for both teams as they went back and forth. Prince Ahura, who usually wears Muay Thai shorts wore long pants and took them off as a spot during the match to a big pop. Jay-AA got a near-fall near the end with a combined F-5/double foot stomp, and eventually, Skillet ran into a cradle for the win for the Bastards.

First Round Match: Purge Club (Pete Bouncer & Ivan Kiev) beat ¿Schadenfreude? (Kyle Fletcher & Lucky Kid) when Bouncer pinned Fletcher after the Class 5 Self Justice (11:08)

Purge Club has a cool entrance, coming out with glowing masks, a baseball bat and a night stick. There was a Purge-style video before the match, where they said that "The Purge will rise, the vermin will fall". Lucky was on offense early on, until Purge Club came back with dropkicks on Fletcher. Lucky hit a tope to the outside and backspring elbows, but almost fell victim to a stop-assisted DDT. Kiev brought his baseball bat to the ring and argued with the ref about using it, allowing Bouncer to hit Fletcher with a night stick shot, dispose of Lucky and then hit a superkick-assisted Self Justice DDT on Fletcher for the win. This certainly wasn't the final chapter between Purge Club and Schadenfreude.

Jonathan Gresham submitted Flamita via Octopus Stretch (12:30)

As stated above, Gresham was brought in when Bandido had to pull out and the decision was made to take Flamita out of the tournament and book him against Gresham on the first night. They traded holds, then quickly took to the air with ranas and a big dive by Flamita into the first row. Both transitioned into arm bars a little later on. Gresham with a big DDT and Flamita with a handspring elbow and step-up rana continued the action, before Flamita missed a 450 splash and Gresham worked over his arm some more and got a crucifix for a two-count. Flamita finally hit the 450, but could not get the pin as Gresham worked his way back with quick offense and a few near-falls of his own. He finally locked in the Octopus Stretch and hit some elbows for the submission in a really good match.

Flamita diving onto Gresham

-- on the video screen, Avalanche was seen looking for someone when he ran into Alexander Dean. Avalanche got annoyed at Dunne for demanding a title shot right after coming in, but agreed to give him one

First Round Match: The Workhorsemen (J.D. Drake & Anthony Henry) beat Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) when Drake pinned Dunne after a moonsault (8:26)

Drake and Santos did some big guys spots early on, until the No Fun Gunn was brought out again. Drake backed off until henry came in and kicked the "gun" away. Drake hit a Vader bomb on Dunne for a near-fall. Santos came back with splashes on everyone until the Anti-Fun Police almost got the win after a Midnight Hour. Drake hit a hard lariat on Santos, a cutter on Dunne and finally Henry came off the top with a stomp and Drake followed with a moonsault for the win.

Los Federales Santos Jr. pulling the No Fun Gun on JD Drake

First Round Match: David Starr & Norman Harras beat The Crown (Jurn Simmons & Alexander James) when Harras pinned James after a schooboy (13:10)

Harras came in to follow his star-making performance from the night before. The Crown dominated early around, with Jurn tossing around the 6'4", 240 lbs Harras like he was nothing. James stretched him, until he finally came back with forearms, a lariat and a German suplex to get the hot tag to Starr who went wild on both members of The Crown. Harras hit a Jackhammer on James for a near-fall, but The Crown took back over. Starr hit a double clothesline on both opponents, sending them to ringside and followed with a trifecta of topes, but got power bombed on the apron on the third attempt. The heels worked over Harras some more and almost put him away with a number of double team moves, including their Blood Eagle finisher. Starr finally pulled Simmons out of the ring, distracting James and allowing Harras to roll him up for the victory.

After the match, The Crown teased dissension as Jurn angrily pulled up James, but then embraced him. James embraced him back, but as Simmons turned around, he got hit with a lariat from behind, followed by a curb stomp. The Crown is no more, as the two former best friends will probably engage in a blood feud over the next few weeks. Broken Rules is coming up in November, so that may be a suitable environment.

Mixed Tag Team Match: Mike Schwarz & Faye Jackson beat Levaniel & Amale when Schwarz pinned Levaniel after a choke slam (8:25)

Fun back and forth action, until Levaniel went to hit Faye (it was a WWE-style mixed tag with no mixed-gender interaction allowed), who hit him back harder and beat him up. Schwarz then finished him off with a choke slam for the pin.

First Round Match: Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover) beat Violence is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku) after hitting Crossfire on Ku (11:05)

Violence is Forever were in control early on and managed to keep the Arrows from using too much double team action. Garrini caught Icarus in a rear-naked choke, but Dover suplexed Ku on top of them to break it up. They brawled on the outside and into the crowd, then Icarus and Garrini ended up on the crew/press/VIP balcony. Icarus eventually discarded Garrini and dove off the balcony to about 15 feet below onto Dover, Ku and a bunch of crew members. Back in the ring, the Arrows then hit Crossfire on Ku to advance to the next round.

Icarus diving off the balcony (and he didn't even fly too close to the sun)

First Round Match: Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan beat Timothy Thatcher & Veit Müller when Lorcan pinned Müller after an assisted DDT (17:09)

All four men shook hands as the match started. Burch and Müller started and Burch took over with a hammerlock. The crowd wanted Thatcher and Lorcan so they both got tagged in and we got an AMBITION super fight preview. Lorcan applied a surfboard, but Thatcher powered out and reversed it. Burch came back in and was caught in a single leg Boston crab. Müller came back in bot got double-teamed for a while until Thatcher took back over with belly-to-belly suplexes. A striking battle ensued, before Thatcher got Lorcan in a rear-naked choke. as Veit applied the same hold to Burch. Lorcan rolled through on the move though and almost had the match won for his team. After a pop-up uppercut combo by Thatcher and Müller, Lorcan came back with a running Destroyer, then hit a missile dropkick on Müller, followed by an assisted DDT by Burch for the victory.

After the match, Lorcan & Burch put over their opponents, then Thatcher quieted down the crowd and told the NXT stars to go on and win the tournament.

A solid night of wrestling ended, leaving the crowd hungry for more.

Saturday, October 4, 12.30 AM - Oberhausen Open 3

Just for good measure, this was a wrestler and fans, trios-style bowling tournament that lasted until close to 2 AM and was  a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 4, 2019, 2 PM - wXw Femmes Fatales 2019 (Turbinenhalle 2, attendance: 360)

The annual all-female tournament has become a fall weekend tradition, after first taking place in 2016. Past winners include "Alpha Female" Jazzy Gabert, Toni Storm and Meiko Satomura, who bested LuFisto in a great main event last year. According to Tassilo Jung, the NXT UK tapings threw a wrench into their planning, but they came up with a roster of talented women, which nonetheless lacked a little bit of star power in comparison with recent years. Saraya Knight (the mother of Paige) had to pull out due to a stomach bug and was replaced by Vicious Vivien, a trainee at the German Hurricane Wrestling school.

The eight participants in the Femmes Fatales 2019 tournament

First Round Match: Session Moth Martina pinned Wesna after the Jägerbomb (6:05)

Wesna is a hard-hitting veteran of European women's wrestling, dating back to a time when there basically was no such division. Martina is a fun-loving, more-often-than-not-drunk creature of the night, so it seemed like it might be a clash of styles here. Martina did some comedy early, acting scared of Wesna and falling down repeatedly. As the match progressed, she picked up her pace though and got more serious, eventually picking up the win after hitting her Jägerbomb.

First Round Match: Leyla Hirsch submitted Sammii Jayne via cross arm breaker (5:34)

The way Hirsch comes across as a killer, cool and confident in her abilities despite her miniscule size is a stark contrast to how smaller wrestlers are usually being portrayed (cough... Chad Gable...). She is small and she doesn't care, as she threw Sammii into the corner, tackled her down with a shoulder block and hit a slingshot dropkick in the corner. Jayne came back with a fall away slam and knee drop for  near fall. Hirsch then just kicked her in the knee, hit a knee strike for good measure and hit a German suplex for a near-fall of her own. Hirsch went for a triangle arm-bar and then, after some more offense by Jayne, rolled through to a cross arm breaker for the submission victory.

First Round Match: Lana Austin pinned Baby Allison after a rope-assisted DDT (4:59)

Austin was popular with the English and Irish fans in attendance, while Allison was met mostly with indifference, She has a cool, Goth look and very good charisma, portraying the "Witch Bitch of Pro Wrestling", whatever exactly that is supposed to mean. Austin took over early but was thrown to ringside and consequently into the ring post. Austin with some ground and pound, but Allison does the Matrix escape from a clothesline, then delivers a stink face in the corner. Allison trips her and goes for some hip attacks. Austin eventually head-butts Allison to the outside and hits a hanging DDT off the ropes for the win.

First Round Match: LuFisto pinned Vicious Vivienne after a side kick (0:51)

LuFisto was celebrated by the crowd. Vivien attacked her before the bell with a lariat and scored a one count, then quickly was disposed of with a forearm and a kick. Thanks for coming.

Semi Final: Leyla Hirsch pinned Session Moth Martina with a moonsault (7:20)

Martina patted Hirsch on the head, then went for a test of strength, rising her hand up to a level Hirsch couldn't reach. Hirsch calmly cut her down to size, then used her strength advantage to bend Martina's wrist for a bit, bringing her to her knees. Martina escaped, but quickly got tripped again and received a noogie back for her former head-patting efforts. Martina threw Hirsch to the outside, but got knocked out of mid-air on a dive. Martina caught Leyla in a tree of woe off a moonsault attempt, and hit a dropkick for a near-fall. Hirsch came back with three German suplexes, then threw Martine to the outside. The Session Moth came back with a head butt and went for the Jägerbomb, but Hirsch escaped and rolled her up for another near-fall. Martina with some more offense that Leyla eventually countered into a Boston Crab. Hirsch then hit an enzuigiri and a top rope moonsault for the pin and a spot in the finals.

Semi Final: LuFisto pinned Lana Austin after La Crucetta (7:29)

Austin started strong with some pinning combinations, but LuFisto eventually worked over her knee. They fought back and forth until LuFisto went for a figure four that got thwarted. Austin came back with a head-butt and a stunner, but it was not enough to keep the Canadian down. LuFisto kicked her leg away then applied La Crucetta for the win.

wXw Women's Championship: Amale (c) beat Faye Jackson after the Champion's Maker (8:38)

They are doing a NJPW-style video with all the past champions before each title match now, which is a nice touch. They also played a video of Amale cheating to beat Jackson on the "Road to WTTF" show in September and her berating Karsten Beck and complaining about everything, as he made the rematch that was to take place here.

Amale had some friends over who cheered her loudly. Jackson started hot with a double-leg, then slammed and hit with some hip attacks. Amale avoided a cannonball in the corner and rolled to ringside and they brawled outside for a bit. She twerked at Amale, then rolled her back inside. Amale came back with a dropkick and some hip attacks. Amale took over with submissions and they went back and fort until Amale managed to rip off the bottom turnbuckle. She evaded a cannonball into the corner, which sent Jackson crashing into the exposed steel, then followed up with the Champion's Maker for the win.

After the match, some fans threw roses into the ring for Amale, who picked on up, smelled it and then proceeded to step the rest of the flowers to pieces. Rude!

Finals: LuFisto pinned Leyla Hirsch after a Burning Hammer (14:45)

This was up there with the best match of the weekend up to that point and is probably high in the top 5 after everything was said and done. Probably a mix of Hirsch's intensity and LuFisto being a great worker and making sure everything looked crisp.

Hirsch started right away with a leg lock, then followed up with hard attacks in the corner and running double knees which sent LuFisto flying. Leyla went for a surfboard. LuFisto came back with a boot in the corner, then started working over Leyla's legs. Hirsch came back with leg kicks from her back, before getting locked in an ankle lock. LuFisto missed a charge and was sent to ringside, where Leyla hit her with two dives, until getting cut off with a forearm on the third one. LuFisto hit more forearms, then power bombed Hirsch into a row of chairs on the outside. Hirsch still kicked out of a pinfall attempt back inside, as the two women started trading forearms that sent the crowd into a frenzy. LuFisto went for the Burning Hammer but Hirsch slipped out and took her down with a knee. Hirsch hit a German suplex for another near-fall, then followed with running double knees in the corner only to fall victim to a spear. The crowd was going crazy by this point, as Hirsch hit a Saito suplex, then went for a double jump moonsault (slipping on the first attempt before hitting it on the second try) for another near-fall. As LuFisto kicked out, Hirsch used the momentum to roll itno a cross arm breaker, but LuFisto esaped and turned it into an STF, forcing Hirsch to move towards the ropes to break the hold. LuFisto hit a Saito suplex of her own, but got hit with a clothesline for another near-fall. Hirsch went to the top to hit her moonsault but LuFisto moved and then followed up with a Burning Hammer for the win. Incredible match!

After the match, LuFisto said she would cash in her newly won title shot the next night against Amale and also cut a promo on her in French (since Amale is from France and LuFisto is from Montreal). She also said that her knee and back were feeling better and she would not retire this year and "may extend her retirement tour to the next 20 years".

A missed moonsault signals the beginning of the end for Leyla Hirsch

Burning Hammer by LuFisto

Winner of the 2019 Femmes Fatales tournament: LuFisto

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 7.30 PM - wXw World Tag Team Festival 2019 - Night 2 (Turbinenhalle 2, attendance: 660)

At some point about 30 minutes before the show was scheduled to start, there was a big commotion in the merchandising area: Jurn Simmons and Alexander James had discovered one another and started to bash things out, brawling and screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. Numerous crew members, trainees and wrestlers eventually managed to get them apart with a lot of effort. This was a nice little touch as it seemingly wasn't "part of the show" and gave the feud a legit feeling that often is missing in some  of the more mainstream promotions.

Alexander James (left) and Jurn Simmons(right) being separated after a brawl

Jonathan Gresham submitted Lucky Kid via Octopus Stretch (12:51)

Two Schadenfreude members met here, even though that connection never was acknowledged here (nor was Timothy Thatcher's affiliation with that stable).

They started slow until Lucky took over with some offense, including a dropkick. He hit a pescado to the outside, then went for a cover but scored only a one count. Gresham took over with an arm bar, chops and a quebrada. They then hit simultaneous crossbodies and traded forearms. Lucky went for a handspring back elbow, but the arm Gresham previously worked over gave out. He still managed to hit an Asai DDT but eventually fell victim to the Octopus Stretch.

wXw Shotgun Championship: Avalanche (c) pinned Alexander Dean after hitting the DRSKR Bomb (6:44)

Another parade of champions video aired, which added some gravity to this being a title match.

Dean locked in a cravat, but quickly was sent flying for his troubles, in addition to being hit with a spinebuster and senton. Avalanche went for the DRSK Bomb, but Dean rolled away. Dean kicked and worked over Avalanche's knee, but he hit a back body drop and some clotheslines, followed by a big splash. As he went for the DRSKR Bomb again though, his knee gave out, with Dean's earlier offense paying off. Dean hit a German suplex off the middle rope for a near fall. Shortly afterwards, Avalanche slammed Dean and finally hit the DRSKR Bomb for the win.

Semi-Finals: The Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) beat David Starr & Norman Harras after Maggot pinned Harras after a Redlight Driver (10:30)

Starr and Maggot worked back and forth early, until Harras and Ahura came in. He was wearing a bandana in addition to his long pants this time around. Starr tagged back in and all four guys kicked each other at the same time, with all four catching each others kicks. Starr negotiated a truce, only for all four men to attempt a strike right afterwards. Starr got worked over with a titl-a-whirl backbreaker, electric chair and and a double suplex. Harras came in and dished out a German suplex, then came back with a counter of a double suplex attempt into a double suplex of his own onto both Bastards. The Bastards jack-knifed Starr, then beat down Harras. Ahura went to remove his pants, but was literally caught with his pants down as Starr hit a Canadian Destroyer on Ahura in mid-undressing, sending his trousers flying straight into the air. Undressal by Destroyer is probably a first in the world of pro-wrestling. Cool visual aside, it didn't get Starr's team the win, as Ahura kicked out and The Bastards dropped Harras with a cutter. Maggot tagged back in and went for a TKO but Harras came in as well and went for a diving uppercut but missed his target (or did he?) and hit David Starr instead. The Bastards then hit the Red Light Driver on him for the win and a spot in the finals.

Undressing by Canadian Destroyer

Semi-Finals: Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover) beat Purge Club (Pete Bouncer & Ivan Kiev) when Icarus rolled up Kiev (0:32)

This wasn't a match so much as an angle. As the bell rung, Lucky Kid's music played and he came out on the stage, distracting the Purge Club and allowing the Arrows to get the win via roll-up and advance to the finals without breaking a sweat. Purge Club was livid afterwards and I'm sure, they are looking for revenge.

Semi-Finals: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch beat The Workhorsemen (J.D. Drake & Anthony Henry) when Burch pinned Henry after the One-Two-DDT (12:46)

This was a possible EVOLVE main event happening on a wXw show. With the old wXw-CZW-BJW Triangle of joint-promotions hardly being active any longer, there yet may be hope for a joint wXw-PROGRESS-EVOLVE show down the road, maybe even with some NXT/NXT UK talent spliced in. Maybe an idea, once that second WWE Network tier starts?

Burch and Henry were in first with some back and forth, before Lorcan tagged in and went into a chop battle with Henry. Drake tagged in and took Lorcan down with a clothesline, before both tagged back out and Burch and Henry traded chops and more clotheslines. Drake blocked the One-Two elevated DDT and ran over the NXT stars. Drake hit a senton off the top on Burch but Lorcan broke up the cover. All four men brawled, before Drake missed a cannonball and the British-Americans hit the One-Two-DDT on Henry for the pin and the final spot in the finals.

4-Way-Dance for a Shotgun title shot: Flamita beat Rust Taylor, The Rotation & Kyle Fletcher, pinning Taylor after a Phoenix Splash (10:52)

This was a unique, fast-paced match, pitting some of the best talent from the Mexican, the U.S. indy, German and Australian/UK scene against each other. Rotation has improved a ton since he took his first steps in wXw a few years ago and is super smooth and crisp with his lucha and flying style.

Rotation and Flamita tried to one-up another with lucha spots, until Taylor and Fletcher spoiled the fun. Fletcher repeatedly mocked Flamita's mask, drawing the ire of the proud Mexican luchador. Some arm drags and a four way dropkick spot later, we're at a stalemate. They did another spot where Fletcher was in the corner and each of the other three clotheslined him, but he managed to catch Rotation with a kick on each attempt, until finally he managed to catch Fletcher's foot on the third attempt and hit a clothesline. Flamita followed with a quebrada on Rotation and Taylor, then hit a moonsault on Taylor and Fletcher outside, only to be followed by a step-up somersault senton by Rotation on all three men. Taylor narrowly managed to break up a pin by Rotation on Flamita after a DDT. Taylor went to ground Rotation, but got in a forearm battle with Fletcher, until everyone head kicked everybody else seconds later. Flamita landed another moonsault on Fletcher and Rotation outside, then hit a 450 on Taylor, but was caught in a crucifix for his troubles. He still managed to come back with a Phoenix Splash on Taylor for the win.

Flamita landing a moonsault on Kyle Fletcher and Rotation

Jay-AA (Jay Skillet & Absolute Andy) beat Anti-Fun Police in 14'54'' when Andy pinned Dunne after a foot-stop assisted F5

OK... how to describe this? This was probably the most ridiculous, ludicrous, absurd, funniest and wackiest match in the history of pro-wrestling and might just top anything that DDT, CHIKARA or Lucha Underground ever did. This might become a cult classic and if there was ever a match you could send on a global tour with a variety or circus troupe, this would be it. I'll do my best to recap it and hope wXw will put this piece of art on YouTube for all of the world to enjoy one day.

Things started out with Jay-AA coming out again with two water bottles and drenching a fan right a the top of the entrance ramp (I believe this was a trainee at the wXw Academy). After the bottles had been emptied, Andy went backstage again and came back with a Super Soaker water gun, drenching the fan some more and shooting jets of water into the crowd. Jay then went backstage once more and got a bucket of water, which he also poured over the same fan. Jay then pulled a big zucchini out of the front of his trunks. Santos and Andy started off by shoving each other, leading to shoulder blocks, leading to Los Federales Santos Jr. pulling out No Fun Gun. Andy laughed at him, pointing out it was not a gun but just his fingers. This was all fine and good, until suddenly a shot rang out over the PA and Andy panicked and got his super soaker. Jay then also entered the melee, wielding his zucchini. Andy asked him why he had a zucchini and Jay replied, pointing at Santos "why does he wear a mask"? The German part of the crowd at that point exploded with laughter, as this was a famous quote from a clip out of a German porn movie ("Why is there straw on the floor? Why are you wearing a mask?") that somehow got discovered years ago and became a cult thing on German television. Things led to a stand-off with Andy, Jay and Santos, until Dunne came into the ring, wielding a big, real knife. Andy freaked, and cut a promo on him, telling him "safety first, and everybody should put their weapons down", which they eventually did. Jay then pointed out that this was a real, sharp knife, got a cutting board and demonstrated how sharp the knife was and cut the zucchini. Since they now had basically prepared food, they called out the backstage catering chef, who came to the ring and took the cut zucchini backstage. Andy and Santos continued to tackle each other, until Santos suddenly shot Andy with No Fun Gun, leaving him for dead on the mat. Skillet tagged himself in using Andy's limp hand, put on his sunglasses and freaked, as Dunne also entered wearing sunglasses. They mirrored each others movements, as Dunne acted as Skillet's mirror image, until he didn't and hit Jay with a super kick. Jay played douchebag in peril and tried tagging Andy, who still was out... dead? Jay then called for a bottle of Fanta to revive Andy, which somebody brought to the ring, but the Anti-Fun Police prevented Skillet from getting it to Andy. Francis Kaspin, Skillet's injured original tag team partner then came out on the stage, wearing a ridiculous outfit. distracting Dunne and Santos, resulting in Santos receiving an inadvertent low-blow his own partner. Andy took a swig of the Fanta, did any Andy-taker sit up and ran wild, suplexed Dunne and hit a super kick, only for Santos to pull out his gun again. Andy then operated an invisible machine gun and shot Santos with it. As referee Tassilo Jung complained, Andy shot him, as well as back-up referees Felix Schulz and Rainer Ringer, who went down on the ramp. He also shot ring announcer Tommy Giessen for good measure. Andy then hit a double-foot-stomp assisted F-5 on Dunne, but since all the referees were "dead", there was no one to count the pinfall. Kaspin then used the limp Tassilo Jung's hand to count the pin.

Afterwards, Jay-AA/FK revived everyone using Fanta and they actually did a full curtain call, with every participant coming out on the stage individually to take a bow to the crowd, as if it had been a stage play. This was something else and needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. It also was a stark contrast to the hard-hitting, dead-serious match that came next and showed that you can and should have variety on a show without losing the crowd or making something serious less meaningful because there was something funny happening before.

Absolute Andy shoots his gun into the crowd

Jay Skillet cutting zucchinis

The artists taking a bow

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Timothy Thatcher submitted Bobby Gunns (c) with the sleeper hold (25:14)

This was a wild battle and the crowd was all for Thatcher, with loud "There's only one Tim Thatcher" chants. This is the same crowd that chanted "Gunns! Bobby Gunns!" to the tune of Daft Punk's Robot Rock for 15 minutes straight last year, mind you. Gunns using more and more heel tactics in his recent bouts against Lucky Kid and Veit Müller without ever having officially turned face in the first place really worked, as he was hated and Thatcher was loved.

They went from the mat to the ropes and back early on, until Thatcher took over with a Saito suplex. Thatcher stayed on offense, with a headlock suplex and single leg crab that made Gunns grab the ropes. Gunns came back with a punt to Thatcher's eye, which he had injured with a cigarette burn in an angle about two years back, but which they brought back up when building to this match. Gunns mocked Thatcher, who had started bleeding from the eye, and applied an Indian Deathlock, complete with douchey hip gyrating. Gunns worked over the wound, and soon, Thatcher's face was a crimson mask. Thatcher hit another Saito suplex and three rope-assisted belly-to-belly suplexes, then they brawled on the outside. This ended in a second-turnbuckle Northern Lights suplex by Gunns. Gunns worked over Thatcher's arm, then hit a German suplex and a lariat, the latter of which Thatcher no-sold. Thatcher hit an uppercut, then applied the cross arm breaker, but Gunns rolled out and into a pinfall attempt. They traded slaps, strikes and uppercuts, before Thatcher landed a butterfly suplex for another near-fall that had the crowd going restless. Thatcher sent of a battery of slaps, as Gunn went for a desperation O'Connor roll for a near-fall of his own. Thatcher locked in the sleeper, but Gunns twisted his fingers to escape, only to have the hold re-applied right away. Gunns climbed the ropes and fell backwards, finally getting free. Gunns went for the SWISH arm bar, but Thatcher rolled out and immediately applied the choke one more time as the crowed went more and more crazy. Thatcher then got Gunns' back and he finally tapped to an exploding pop as we had ourselves a new wXw Word Unified Wrestling Champion!

Thatcher, a crimson mask of disbelief, raised hsi hand, then proudly wore the belt and posed for the crowd, who celebrated their humble wrestling god and new champion!

An eager Timothy Thacther faces off with a confident Bobby Gunns

Timothy Thatcher will not quit

Sleeper hold applied tight

Finally successful

...and NEW wXw World Unified Wrestling Champion

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 12.30 PM - AMBITION Wildcard Edition (Turbinenhalle 2, attendance: 315)

AMBITION, wXw's take on having a UWF-like shoot-style division started in 2010 and almost was dropped in 2013, four shows in, as there just wasn't a lot of fan interest (attendance varied between 110-175 people) in the stand-alone shows and the local hardcore crowd that also had some prior shoot-style or MMA exposure at that point was miniscule (also, UFC was mostly banned from television in Germany at that time). Finally, in 2014 the decision was made to try out the concept as part of the multi-day festival weekends, initially in October for what back then was the World Triangle League and later switched over for 16 Carat in March. For AMBITION 10 last March, a few spots were to be given given to wrestlers who had never competed for wXw/in AMBITION before and who could apply for them. The office was flooded by requests, with the style having become more and more popular in recent years, with shows such as Matt Riddle's/Josh Barnett's Bloodsport and similar undertakings by promotions such as PROGRESS. AMBITION 11 was held over SummerSlam weekend in Toronto and also featured some new names and this WIldcard Edition over WTTF weekend was to feature only new faces in the AMBITION roster. Also, Timothy Thatcher and NXT's Oney Lorcan would face off in a non-tournament super fight.

The WTTF curse reared it's ugly head again, as Daniel Moser had flight problems and was replaced by A-Kid - who initially was supposed to be in the tag team tournament with long-time partner Carlos Romo as Team White Wolf, but had to bow out due to NXT UK commitments the previous two days.

The participants of the AMBITION Wildcard Edition tournament

Round 1: Daniel Makabe submitted James Runyan

Makabe, from Canada and a regular in Washington's 3-2-1 promotion did a series with Timothy Thatcher in that promotion over the past three years and also fought Thatcher in AMBITION 11 in Toronto. He won after escaping a triangle arm bar and applying and STF for the tap.

Round 1: Dominic Garrini submitted Alexander Dean

Garrini, a BJJ purple belt got the submission win with a knee bar.

Round 1: Rust Taylor submitted Kevin Lloyd

Taylor, who's career spans all the way back to 2004 was a regular with PWG, the NWA and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and almost got signed by WWE a few years back. He got Lloyd dizzy with an number of head kicks, one of which got him a warning from the referee, then applied a trapped-arm arm bar, making Lloyd tap out.

Round 1: A-Kid submitted Scotty Davis

A-Kid, the young wunderkind from Spain, who recently made waves with his matches against Zack Sabre Jr., Will Ospreay, Jonathan Gresham and Lucky Kid is at home on the mat. Davis, a popular young Irishman and suplex afficionado stood with him blow for blow. At one point, Taylor gator-rolled A-Kid out of the ring, which did not amuse the young Spaniard, as he blasted Davis with stiff shots and slaps, until finally ending things with a double arm bar.

Semi Finals: Daniel Makabe submitted Dominic Garrini

In a battle fo crowd favorites, Makabe picked up the win with a knee bar in a fantastic battle.

Semi Finals: A-Kid submitted Rust Taylor

An upcoming indy darling battled an established one, as two generations of amazing workers met here. For the finish, Taylor rushed in to attack a still downed A-Kid and was held back by the referee. He went for a suplex, but got caught in a rear-naked choke and had to tap.

Superfight: Timothy Thatcher defeated Oney Lorcan via TKO

This was a battle for the ages. These two have had numerous battles before in Full Impact Pro, Beyond, EVOLVE, PWG and during WWNLive's excursion to China. Thatcher holds Lorcan in highest regard, stating that when he first saw him wrestle (as Biff Busick), he had hopes that wrestling was in good hands. Lorcan similarly stated in a video message that he was looking forward to doing battle with Thatcher again.

Both men were met with great reactions as they started to feel each other out. Lorcan got the takedown with a side headlock, then both men ended up outside off a waistlock takedown. They went hold for hold with each other, culminating in an attempted Fujiwara arm bar by Thatcher which got blocked and both men were back up on their feet. They ended up rolling on the mat and trading strikes and punches, until finally they were back up and Lorcan hit a Saito suplex. Oney avoided an enzuigiri, hit a hard running uppercut but Thatcher recovered and eventually homed in with that enzuigiri after all. A slapping battle ensued, which was eventually won by Thatcher, as he momentarily slapped the color out of Lorcan's face and the consciousness out of his body for the victory.

After the match, Thatcher put over Lorcan huge and said that whenever Lorcan had been in wXw before, he had been a part of some great things and something was missing now, as Lorcan's original theme song, "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise blared over the PA and the crowd gladly sang along.

Thatcher hitting an enzuigiri seconds before the finish,...

...a hard slap that had Lorcan unable to continue

Finals: A-Kid submitted Daniel Makabe

A-Kid flipped out of a German suplex early, and looked for a cross arm breaker which Makabe managed to avoid by going into the ropes. A-Kid got the mount and rained down hard slaps on the Canadian. They traded holds until Makabe hit a hard slap that might have knocked out a lesser man. Makabe locked in an STF, transitioned into a rear naked choke and finally a Fujiwara arm bar, but things ended in the ropes once more. A-Kid, with a very un-AMBTION type of offense, hit a standing Spanish Fly and locked in a cross arm breaker for the submission victory.

A-Kid, ever the professional, looks straight into the camera as he hits a very un-shoot-style Spanish Fly

The cross arm breaker gets the victory

A-Kid and Daniel Makabe pay each other their respects

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 5 PM - wXw World Tag Team Festival 2019 - Night 3 (Turbinenhalle 2, attendance: 525)

Warm-up: Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) beat Goldenboy Santos & Alexander Dean when Santos Jr. pinned Santos after a springboard lungblower (7:05)

A nice way to say good bye to some of the stars of the weekend, in the Anti-Fun Police. Santos Jr. and Goldenboy Santos (a talented young worker, who moved to Germany from Portugal) got into an argument who the real Santos was. Santos Jr., of course, pulled out the No Fun Gun and Santos backed away, until Alexander Dean spoiled things and kicked the "gun" away. Dunne made it clear which Santos he was backing. Goldenboy got laid out with the forearm and hit with the springboard lungblower for the final and only Anti-Fun Police win of the weekend.

4-Way-Dance: Scotty Davis beat Oliver Carter, Rust Taylor and Jay Skillet after pinning Taylor with a cross-legged brainbuster (6:17)

Fun, all-action match which had Oliver Carter, coming straight off the NXT UK tapings, in as a nice surprise. Superkick galore by Skillet early on, until Taylor came in and rolled up Davis for a near-fall. Everyone ended up outside as Scotty dove on everyone and Carter followed with a 450 off the top to the floor. Back inside, Skillet tried hitting an A5 "for Andy" on Carter, who got away and kicked Jay in the face instead. Scotty Davis hit a snap dragon suplex on Taylor, followed by an Angle slam. Taylor put Carter in a rear naked choke, as Skillet came off the top with a double foot stomp on both of them. He finally hit an A5, but Taylor and Davis took back over, with Davis finally hitting a cross-legged brainbuster on Taylor for the win, much to the delight of the Irishmen in the crowd.

--a video message from the Arrows of Hungary played, stating they were fighting for their careers tonight and will take the tag team titles home

Killer Kelly pinned Leyla Hirsch after hitting the Carnation Revolution (7:12)

Kelly was another surprise here, also coming off the NXT UK tapings the night before and making her wXw return after having been out since the summer with a knee injury. This was a battle fo two women, who both had their breakthrough performances in front of a German crowd over tag festival weekend in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

Hirsch started strong, taking Kelly down right away, which had the Portuguese questioning herself. Kelly briefly applied a cravat, but they were quickly back trading strikes and head butts, until Hirsch hit a German suplex. Kelly came back with a German suplex of her own, but quickly fell victim to Hirsch's running knee strike. She missed another double knee strike though and Kelly kept her in the corner with a Shotgun dropkick. Hirsch came back with running knees yet again, then hit a Saito suplex to set up Kelly for her moonsault - which she missed. Kelly then hit her version of a Death Valley Driver, the Carnation Revolution and picked up the victory.

Killer Kelly hitting the Carnation Revolution for the win

--a video message from The Pretty Bastards played, with Ahura saying they would become Poster Boys, as that was what PB stood for, while Maggot was a bit more humble, promising to wrestle a great finals tonight

Schadenfreude (Kyle Fletcher & Lucky Kid) beat The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & J.D. Drake) when Lucky Kid submitted Henry in the Lucky Lock (11:34)

"Go, Go APH" chants started us off, as the crowd found out that Anthony Henry's middle name was Paul. Fletcher and henry traded tackles early, with Fletcher coming out on top. Lucky came in and tried the Lucky Lock on Henry, but got squished by a senton by Drake. The Workhorsemen worked Lucky over, who came back with a double handspring back elbow on both men. Fletcher tagged back in and hit an overhead belly-to-belly into the corner on Henry. Both teams traded a barrage of double team moves, until Drake hit a biog cannonball in the corner on Kyle. Henry locked Lucky in an ankle lock, then gave him a German suplex, but Lucky came back and transitioned a La Mistica into the Lucky Lock. Drake tried a moonsault off the top on both, but Lucky rolled them out of the way while still keeping the hold on tight and Kyle dove on Drake on the outside, forcing Henry to submit.

The Workhorsemen said their good goodbyes to "please come back" chants, as Lucky went in for a hug which Kyle side-stepped. He then hugged it out with Lucky Kid though, before the Purge Club appeared once more to spoil things. Kyle ran to meet them up the ramp, but was quickly beaten down with the baseball bat and nightstick the Purge Club carries at all times. They then entered the ring and beat down Lucky with shot after shot as well. Kiev hit a super kick, then Bouncer finished things off with the Self Justice to add some fuel to the fire of that feud for the coming weeks.

wXw Shotgun Championship: Avalanche (c) pinned Flamita after the DRSK Bomb (9:23)

This was Flamita's shot which he head won in the four way the previous night. Flamita bounced off Avalanche right away, then did some lucha-style flips and rolls, until Avalanche did an easy roll of his own, coming up face-to.face with the Mexican. Flamita took Avalanche outside with an arm drag, then hit a tope for good measure. Back inside, Flamita found himself on the receiving end of a splash, followed with a senton and some light hurling of Flamita in between. Flamita managed to trip Avalanche in the corner, then hit a huge moonsault to the big Austrian on the outside. Avalanche came back with a big Samoan Drop, but was stopped by a number of super kicks. Flamita then picked up the 300 lbs. Shotgun champion and delivered a Death Valley Driver for a near-fall as the crowd looked on in awe. Phoenix followed with a 450 splash for another near-fall, then Flamita looked to go for the Phoenix Splash, but Avalanche got back to his feet and caught him off a crossbody, which he turned into a fallaway slam. Avalanche followed with the DRSKR Bomb for his second successful title defense of the weekend.

Flamita with a moonsault to the outside

Avalanche hitting the DRSKR Bomb

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Timothy Thatcher (c) pinned Jonathan Gresham after a roll-up (15:41)

This was a surprise, not as in happening but in not being announced or a challenge being issued. Gresham getting a shot made sense though, as he had two strong wins on Friday and Saturday and many expected him to be in a title match over the weekend. This was in a way also another battle of Schadenfreude, even though neither man's history with the group has been acknowledged here.

Gresham stalled early and escaped to ringside, drawing some boos from the crowd. He also made a point of staying close to the ropes, so he could grab them whenever Thatcher would apply a hold. This ended, once he got pulled into a bow-and-arrow submission. Thatcher put on a side headlock and half crab, but Gresham smartly worked over Thatcher's arm and later, knee, looking to wear the champion down. Thatcher hit a Saito suplex, followed by a gutwrench until Gresham caught him with an ankle lock, which he countered into one of his own. Gresham hit a number of dropkicks and sent Thatcher to the outside, then hit a tope to Thatcher's back and hung on for a rear-naked choke. Thatcher actually pulled Gresham up to the mat from the outside in a unique spot where he half climbed, half dragged Gresham up in impressive fashion and stepped through the ropes with Gresham on his back. He eventually escaped the hold, only for Gresham to apply another ankle lock. Gresham hit a dead lift German suplex, but Thatcher quickly rolled him up for the victory. Great, technical match and a hard-fought victory for the champion in his first title defense.

As Gresham exited, Ilja Dragunov's music played and he entered the ring. Thatcher just stared at him and as Ilja motioned for the microphone, Thatcher turned away in disgust and just left, which was great.

Dragunov was pissed that he did not receive a title shot right away, since he was the one who built up wXw and had numerous battles in this ring in front of this crowd, who now despised him. He called out Karsten Beck, who still was at ringside, then punched him in the gut and wanted him to kiss his boots, as David Starr ran out for the save and attacked Ilja. Beck got back and and screamed into the mic that he was sick of both their antics and if they wanted it so bad, they could wrestle after intermission.

Thatcher carrying Gresham through the ropes

Victory by roll-up

Timothy Thatcher has no time for Ilja Dragunov's bullshit

Ilja Dragunov beat David Starr after hitting Torpedo Moskau (10:56)

This was a brutal, strong-style affair that would have been right at home in the upper card of any recent NJPW show, as they murdered each other with death and then some.

Ilja jumped Starr during his entrance on the ramp and they brawled on the stage, before ending up back in the ring. Ilja went for Torpedo Moskau right away, but got superkicked in the head by Starr and ended on the outside, where he promptly was met by a tope. Ilja hit a double sledge off the top off hiw own and Starr ended outside again, with Ilja looking to hit a senton on Starr in the first row, but only hit empty chairs instead. Starr flew out with another tope, but got smashed into the chairs with Ilja looking to score a count out victory. Starr made it back in and the traded hard chops, Germans and lariats. Ilja went for Coast to Coast, but Starr hit Han Stansen to send Ilja crashing. Another Han Stansen hits its mark for a near-fall, but Ilja came back with a deadlift German for a near-fall of his own. Dragunov hit a senton, then went for Torpedo Moskau once more, but Starr turned it into a Canadian Destroyer, with the pants luckily staying on this time. Starr applied a crossface, but Ilja turned it into a Death Valley Driver, then went for another Coast to Coast, which Starr stopped and turned into a superplex. A lariat from Ilja was followed by the Konstantin Special. Starr came back with head butts and chops, until Ilja begged off, WALTER-style, and used the same ruse to hit a number of slaps and strikes on Starr. Starr spat at Ilja and hit Han Stansen, but Ilja ducked a second attempt, which sent Starr head-first into the middle rope. As he was stunned, Dragunov finally hit Torpedo Moskau for the pin and the win in an awesome battle.

Coast to Coast topped by Han Stansen

Torpedo Moskau finds it mark

wXw Women's Championship: Amale (c) pinned LuFisto after the Champion's Maker (8:06)

LuFisto hit a cannonball into the corner early on and followed with chops and headbutts. Amale managed to pull her into the corner and hit a dropkick. Amale tried to slow LuFisto down with a chin lock, but she came back with a discus punch and a suplex for a near-fall. Amale hit an X-Factor for a near-fall of her own, then followed up with a stunner, but nothing seemed to work on the Canadian veteran. LuFisto escaped a Champion's Maker and hit a sidewalk slam, then went for the Burning Hammer, which Amale escaped from. She managed to hit a German suplex, then the Champion's Maker to retain her title with a clean victory.

wXw World Tag Team Championship - 3-Way-Dance (no DQ, no Count Out, Tornado and Elimination Rules): The Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) beat Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover) after pinning Icarus off a Red Light Driver (7:25) as well as Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch after another Red Light Driver on Lorcan (15:04)

This was a great match and a worthy final, with a memorable angle that put over the new crop of talent in wXw strong.

Everyone paired off, with the Arrows gaining the upper hand and threw out Burch and Maggot early on. Ahura tried to sneak a kick in, but got take out with a Fire Thunder Driver. Lorcan and Maggot ended up on the top rope, but got slammed down by Dover. Lorcan hit a big uppercut on Dover and all six men ended up at ringside for some dives. Prince Ahura and Icarus brawled up the stairs to the crew/press/VIP balcony once more, but Ahura pulled Icarus off, as he was ready to dive on the pile below. Ahura instead got up on the balcony and took his pants off, but Icarus pulled him down as well. They brawled back down to the middle platform of the stairways, where Ahura unceremoniously hip-tossed Icarus on their opponents down below. The Bastards quickly got Icarus back in the ring and hit the Red Light Driver to eliminate the Hungarians from the match.

Maggot speared Lorcan, followed by a knee strike from Ahura, as the crowd is behind both teams, but clearly is rooting for the underdogs in the Bastards. Burch came in with a clothesline and a pop-up power bomb on Maggot for another near-fall. Lorcan comes in for the One-Two DDT for what looks to be the victory, only for Bobby Gunns in street clothes suddenly pulling out the referee during the count! The Bastards hit double low-blows on Oney & Lorcan and Bobby and the Bastards end up hugging. They go for a Red Light Driver on Lorcan, as Norman Harras' music plays and he comes in for the save, banding together with the NXT superstars. Then, in a shocking twist, he attacked them instead as a new stable of young bastards was born before our very eyes. Gunns traps Lorcan in a SWISH arm bar and he furiously taps, but of course it doesn't count, as Gunns is not an official participant in the match. The Bastards then hit the Red Light Driver on Lorcan to win the match and the titles.

The new posse hugged and posed in the ring, with everybody but Harras accepting a smoke from Gunns as confetti flies from the rafters and a new era begins in wXw.

Icarus being thrown off the balcony

Norman Harras joining Bobby & The Bastards

The newest stable in wXw rejoices in their victory

Announcements for the coming months

For 19th Anniversary on December 14 in Oberhausen, they announced Meiko Satomura, who will cash in her women's title shot from winning last year's Femmes Fatales, Kassius Ohno and inducting Robbie Brookside into the wXw Hall of Fame

For next year's 16 Carat, from March 6-8, 2020 the announced the first two names in Mike Bailey and Chris Ridgeway, plus an AMBITION super fight of Yuki Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Ikeda

WALTER will also team with Daisuke Sekimoto to face Yuji Okabayashi & Yuji Hino at the November 4 Big Japan show in Sumo Hall; this was a personal request from Sekimoto, and they went through the wXw office to make it happen

News, odds and ends

Tassilo Jung, Felix Kohlenberg and Dennis Birkendahl did a media Q&A on Sunday. They stated that they re-booked th entire weekend three times and it took phone conferences and talks of about 60 hours to get everything sorted out with all the talent changes. Birkendahl said that they originally had come up with what they think would have been a great story, but now no one will ever know what they had planned, unless, he jokingly added, they could just do it next year.

They pretty much have their 16 Carat roster lined up and are just waiting for the various dates to be confirmed by WWE and other promotions. Jung said theydon't know the 2020 NXT UK schedule yet, so they don't know if it will clash with 16 Carat, but said this weekend proved they would work around pretty much anything.

As far as the new original music goes, they are using a music library (the same one PROGRESS uses), and they pre-choose a number of songs for the talent to pick from. They originally got to use a different library, one that even had a song close to Robot Rock, which Bobby Gunns used, so the chants could be made to the same beat and cadence, but one week before finalizing everything, had to switch to another library and had to re-select themes for everybody, just one week before Shortcut to the Top, which is their 30-men battle royal, so you can guess how much fun that must have been. They said they think the new music adds to the product and fans who only get wXw NOW and never attended a show will know the music when they come to a show.

Marius Al-Ani was at the show backstage on Friday and Tassilo Jung confirmed to me that they worked a return date out for him which he also knows about, but want to keep it secret as they might want to bring him back as a part of an angle.

They said that Norman Harras was chose as a late replacement for Veit Müller, who has some personal issues to deal with which he will address shortly; David Starr then supposedly hand-picked Harras to be his partner; Harras told me in an interview which I taped with him on Saturday that he had trained with Starr when he lived in Germany for a while, so they had good chemistry from that time

With WALTER being not there for the first festival weekend ever since he joined the promotion back in 2007, some of his backstage tasks were being picked up by other wrestlers backstage, namely Absolute Andy, Avalanche and Jay Skillet.

Daniel Makabe was great during his media panel Q&A, talking extensively about his background, his very bad eye sight and how fans gifted him various football jerseys to wear; he got really emotional talking about his feud with Timothy Thatcher, talking about how much respect he had for him and how much it meant to him to get Thatcher's approval, both backstage and as part of a storyline they did for 3-2-1 in Washington. he is a really great and classy guys, and made a ton of new fans this weekend, with everyone hoping he'll be back. Leyla Hirsch, Rust Taylor, Dominic Garrini, The Workhorsemen, The Arrows of Hungary, The Anti-Fun Police and Scotty Davis also got over great whenever they were in matches and everybody hopes they'll be brought back in at some point.

Managing Director Felix Kohlenberg, Art Director Dennis Birkendahl and COO & Head of Talent Relations Tassilo Jung


An amazing weekend, especially given the circumstances of "the curse" and all that went wrong leading up to the show. The wXw family is an amazing team and is probably unique in how much everybody handles backstage and how everyone works together to put on the best possible show for the fans. Production is very good too and on a level with the best European promotions, if not a step above. There wasn't a bad match on any card and some matches were outright amazing. If nothing else, check out LuFisto vs. Leyla Hirsch, Jay-AA vs. Anti-Fun Police, Timothy Thatcher vs. Bobby Gunns, Thatcher vs. Oney Lorcan, Ilja Dragunov vs. David Starr and the finals of the tag team tournament with The Pretty Bastards, The Arrows of Hungary and Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch if you get the chance.