With the UK Indy scene as big as I’ve ever known it, it would be churlish not to spare a thought for the burgeoning European scene. At the head of this – Westside Xtreme Wrestling from Germany. With a raft of homegrown talents, a good selection of imports and one of the biggest tournaments on the planet (The 16 Carat Gold Tournament), wXw is easily one of the biggest promotions in Europe. They are also one of the most generous, as they offered this show on YouTube as a show of love for the fans. What better way to check them out than to see them in their element, doing what they do best: bringing hard hitting wrestling to the German fans.
I promised myself I’d try and do this justice in a smaller number of words than my last few columns – we’ll see.
Da Mack vs Julian Nero
The opening match sees Da Mack going up against Julian Nero in a classic battle of speed vs strength. Mack is effectively a Michael Jackson knock-off in terms of dress, even down to the white glove. He brings the initial fire in the match, hitting an arm drag and a dropkick, before putting his dancing shoes to good use with a couple of kicks following some nifty shuffling in the ring. Whilst I might not be a huge fan of the gimmick, the fans are firmly behind the high flyer.
When Mack eventually gets caught with a big boot, Nero slows the maych down with a seated abdominal stretch, a flying knee and a Wasteland for a two count, the latter two moves cutting off brief comeback flurries. A slingblade and top rope enziguri has the smaller man back in control, but over exuberance almost costs him dear as he eats a reverse DDT following a missed corner splash. Nero gets out a glove (…you got me) to try and lock on a nerve hold, but Mack is able to fight it off twice, the second time with a springboard ace crusher to boot to get the three count. A solid match, though nothing amazing really. Da Mack is very over though.
Big Damo vs ‘Bad Bones’ John Klinger
With all the commentary in German, it is difficult to be certain, but I feel that this might be a Number One Contenders Match. Damo is an awesome presence in the ring, thought I do feel his returns are diminished somewhat when not seen live. Klinger has a very vocal following, with many ‘Bad Bones City’ signs, though one gets used to wipe Damo’s ass with before the match begins!
Occasionally, it feels odd when Damo is booked in a match to be ‘the big man’ when there isn’t such a huge disparity in size. Klinger isn’t a small guy, but he fails to slam Damo twice early on, with Damo landing on him hard on the second attempt. Damo is his usual vicious self, stepping on Klinger and hitting a senton shortly after Klinger missed a running knee into the corner. A lot of the match sees Damo toying with his opponent, a slam chucking Klinger halfway across the ring.
Klinger does begin to fight back, taking Damo down with a selection of clotheslines, a kick to the face and a codebreaker for a two count, with a flying knee and suicide dive to follow. Unfortunately for him, he gets caught in a Wasteland slam, before Damo hits four sentons (!) including one off of the second turnbuckle (!!) for the three count. A good match, which probably felt better live for sure.
Absolute Andy and Prost vs Jurn Simmons and Reich Und Schon
I initially didn’t fancy this match much during the first few minutes, but by the end, I was won over. This was an enjoyable six man tag match, with each man in it bringing something interesting and engaging to the table. As with most six men tags, there is probably more than I could effectively cover, but the story of the match seemed to be Simmons general lack of respect for his own tag team partners, mainly Kevin Roadster.
Along the way, we see some good brawling and tag team work, especially from the team of Prost. Early on, they nail Marius van Beethoven with a bear hug/ledgrop combo before landing a wheelbarrow suplex splash for a close early fall. Simmons brings most of the effective offense for his team, and I like the general arrogance he brings to his role. He drops Blunt with a slam to give the heels a prolonged sequence of offense, and also low bridges Absolute Andy to cut short the big hot tag section. Andy himself is an interesting character, clearly loved by the fans in attendance and impressively strong with a stalling suplex on van Beethoven.
There is a lot of back and forth action throughout, and it looks as if Andy will have the win for this team following an (admittedly awkward) F5/superkick combo. Simmons nails a big flying kick though, only to have his pinfall broken up by Blunt jumping off of the top rope. This leaves Blunt open for a Roadster package piledriver and a three count loss. A very fun match with a lot of high octane action.
Big Daddy Walter vs Robert Dreissker (Bullrope Match)
The shame here is that I don’t know the reason that this required a bullrope match. Still, this doesn’t stop me from enjoying some hard hitting, if a little pedestrian and predictable, action. The nature of the gimmick does constrain a lot of what is possible in the ring, including the potential to make the finish somewhat anticlimactic, whilst it often feels like the type of gimmick match a ‘good guy’ has to win.
That is to take nothing away from either man, as they served up an aggressive match with a fine serving of hatred. Often, we saw Walter taking the upper hand, only for Dreissker to cut him off at either two touches or three touches, normally with a charge or a clothesline. It is Dreissker who is first to nail Walter with the bell, and it is a tactic he comes back to more than once. Walter isn’t adverse to using the rope himself, as he chucks Dreissker across the ring and then outside with a rope assisted throw.
After a brawl at ringside, we see two more times where Walter almost has the match in hand, only for Dreissker to stop him; the second time with a clever roll to the outside to make it impossible for Walter to make the corner. A powerbomb off of the top turnbuckle seemingly has Walter in charge, but at the third touch, he gets stopped and seemingly choked out by Dreissker. This is almost the opportunity Dreissker needed, but at three, Walter gets up, drops Dreissker with a huge lariat, avalanche-style German suplex, a second lariat and a massive bell shot to leave Dreissker down and Walter in a position to hit all four corners for victory. A good match, though the gimmick occasionally impacted upon quality.
Melanie Grey vs Nikki Storm
I don’t want to feel like I’m short changing the girls’ match, but this just isn’t very good. I’m sure they are both capable wrestlers, but nothing seems to click. Following a few weak strike trades, it is Grey who controls the ajority of the match, but her offense is limited and a bit sloppy looking at times, outside of a nice Texas cloverleaf with Storm breaks with a rope break twice. Storm has some nice moves along the finishing stretch, including a straitjacket style neckbreaker, and is eventually able to get the win with a spinning fisherman neckbreaker. I don’t want to throw blame at anyone really, but I left the match feeling Storm would be worth watching again, if only against a different opponent.
Axel Dieter Jr. vs Marty Scurll
Not only do we get a match between two of the better talents in the European scene, we also see a helpful montage of Dieter Jr. and Scurll’s feud. They’ve traded victories in several other venues, and this has the feeling of being a potential decider. The crowd are in full on pantomime mood as they cheer every Dieter strike and boo Scurll, though as per usual, he has more than his fair share of fans as well.
Scurll was quick to show his villainous ways by nailing Dieter Jr. with an umbrella on the blindside of the referee, following this assault with a powerbomb and inverted suplex for good measure. We see the standard Scurll finger breaker as well, as Marty targets the arm, only for Dieter Jr. to unconventionally use a Blockbuster-type move off the top rope to break a simple armlock…whatever works for you.
Dieter Jr. is able to avoid several chicken wing attempts, and even gets a nearfall with a White Noise-esque driver. Scurll himself hits a vicious superkick off of the apron and a superplex, though neither has enough behind it to finish the match. Frustrated, Scurll brings the umbrella back into the match, but Dieter Jr. once again (this occurred in a previous match) refuses to hit Scurll with it. We then see the finishes from their previous matches ran through, with a chicken wing broken by a kick to the turnbuckle into a pin, only for Scurll to roll through with a pin of his own, but this time, Dieter Jr. snuck out of the pin and locked on a full nelson with legs assisting submission hold for the eventual verbal submission from Scurll. A good finish to a good match, the finish giving more power by the clever idea to stick the montage on before the match.
Karsten Beck © vs Rhyno in a No-DQ Match for the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship
If ever there was a match that was booked for the live crowd, this is it. I said earlier that Damo loses something in translation to TV/internet, but this match has very little going for it unless you were there. What we see is Rhyno bossing the early going, before a prolonged section in the crowd involving brawlings, chairs and a pint being smashed over Beck’s head. There is a pretty savage looking suplex to Beck on the floor, as well as the introduction of a kendo stick for good measure; Rhyno measuring Beck several times before whacking the champion.
Outside of the brawling, which lacks conviction on ‘tape’, there isn’t much fire between the two men in the ring. It all feels a little too adequate. Rhyno was never a workhorse, but got by on intensity. Years have dampened that somewhat. Karsten Beck doesn’t do much himself to endear me to him, other than being a heel I legitimately don’t like based on his characterisation alone. As was expected when Rhyno asked for this to be No-DQ earlier in the show, we get Reich Und Schon hitting the ring, allowing Beck to finally take control. A big knee and a kneedrop have Rhyno downed, and every fightback sees involvement from the tag team at ringside. Just as it seems Rhyno is getting on top of the 3 vs 1 odds. Summers hits the ring. A four man beatdown follows, before the predictable involvement of Absolute Andy and Prost from earlier. This at least gets the match fired up, as we see another of six man action, with several big moves getting dropped.
In the melee, the referee eats a superkick when Beck pulls him in the way, leaving Beck to get hit by the Gore but not lose the title. Beck seems to have it in control after driving Rhyno into a chair lodged between the turnbuckles, but challenger manages to kick. He almost nicks the title following the avoidance of a missile dropkick and a quick pinfall, but Beck shows the brains of a champion, avoiding a Gore and hitting a flatliner for the three count. A fairly average match that would have been enjoyable live.
wXw don’t have to offer anything for nothing, so having the opportunity to see a full show for free is worth championing alone. Scurll vs Dieter Jr, the 6-man tag and the Bullrope match made it more than worth the time, even if there were a couple of clunkers along the way. Check it out.
You can see the show HERE